When it comes to retaining your best employees, the immediate drivers that come to mind are compensation-based-higher pay, more vacation and better benefits. While those work for some, a recent Gallup poll noted that 71 percent of those starting out in the workforce aren’t engaged on the job and half are planning to leave the company within a year. The reason? Their boss.

Have you ever left a job because of a boss? In a recent article, Millennial writer Sarah Landrum—founder of Punched Clocks, a career advice blog—argued that some of the responsibility of developing an effective relationship between the boss and employee also falls on the employee. Regardless of age or experience, she writes, there are ways that employees can help facilitate a relationship with their boss that pays dividends for both themselves and for the company. Learn more in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

It’s a fact that bosses who are engaged are 59 percent more likely to have engaged employees. The behaviors associated with being an engaged boss include being available for discussion, motivating employees by encouraging them to use their strengths and helping employees to set clear, reasonable and achievable goals.

According to Landrum, investing in an appropriate and engaged work relationship with a boss takes time to develop, but it begins by becoming familiar with how your boss moves through the business day, his or her expectations and how and when they interact with employees. In this context, there are two characteristics that are important to note—the boss’s mood and communication style.

Mood. We all have a unique set of personal and professional responsibilities and stressors, making it natural for our moods to fluctuate throughout the day as we tend to these obligations. Suppose your boss has a young child at home who didn’t sleep well the night before, which consequentially interrupted his or her sleep. Although not work-related, this is likely to affect your boss’s mood the next day, at least somewhat. Learning to gauge your boss’s mood—and the moods of those around you—will help you time your interactions properly, and ensure the conversations are more productive, with fewer distractions.

Communication. For communication to be effective, it must also be appropriate. What does that mean in this context? Landrum offers a few examples, like not waiting too long to break important news, sending check-ins via email or phone to keep your boss updated on projects and respecting your boss’s time when discussing more in-depth topics. If you notice your boss has a hefty list of tasks, offer to help, and if you’re uncertain about something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Showing your boss and company that you’re reliable and willing to go the extra mile if needed, will also surely help with communication.

Source: Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a career advice blog that focuses on happiness and creating a career you love.