On average, a person spends 8 hours a day – 5 days a week working and interacting with their colleagues.
That’s quite a large amount of time. Imagine a workplace where everyone disconnects, and you know how it affects both work performance and happiness.
As a manager, besides strengthening relationships with other businesses, you should focus on building good work relationships among your staff, too.
But how? Let’s find out.
Why building good work relationships?
We as humans are social creatures. As we spend a lot of time at work, the need to socialize, interact, cooperate, and get along with others is inevitable.
Getting along well with colleagues allows your staff to express their opinions more confidently, listen to others more actively, and are more open to collaboration and teamwork. Work performance and productivity also improve as a result.
Relationships in the workplace affect each individual’s comfort and happiness, too. Supportive, friendly, and trustworthy colleagues motivate staff to go to work in joy. The last thing most people want is workplace dramas, gossips, and conflicts.
Finally, good work relationships also bring growth opportunities as employees have a higher-quality network. They can learn from each other and share work when the workload is overwhelming.
So, as you can see, good work relationships are beneficial to both employees and your business.
How to build good work relationships
It’s great to have someone to share work, someone to help when not familiar with a new task, or someone to chat with during breaks. Work will certainly be more comfortable and fun when we have good relationships with those around us.
Let’s get to our tips on how to support and build good work relationships with and among your staff.
Build trust and respect
Relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect. Trust and respect allow staff to work with responsibility and autonomy. Cooperation and communication are also smoother and more effective.
Building trust and respect is a continuous and long process. They’re influenced by many factors, from your company culture and each individual’s personality to your management styles.
Some basic things you can implement and encourage in the workplace are mindful and active listening, as well as effective and respectful communication.
Encourage positive attitudes and behaviors
How colleagues treat each other directly affects their relationships—we all know that. But what are some simple ways to show positive attitudes and behaviors that will cheer each other up every workday?
Greetings are certainly not a difficult thing to do every morning. A sincere compliment on a colleague’s new shirt. A surprise birthday celebration. Share a piece of cake. Ask questions, show care, discuss work openly. These are small acts that help build close relationships with colleagues.
Build relationships with your staff
Besides supporting positive relationships among your staff, you should also focus on your relationship with them.
Showing authority and forcing your staff to do as you please certainly don’t help much. If you want true respect instead of distant respect, you should treat them as partners and friends instead of as subordinates.
Building good relationships with employees also shows in whether you care about them or not, and how. Small acts such as timely praising those who achieve good results or encouraging creative contributions can go a long way.
However, being friends doesn’t mean your staff can go wild and do whatever they want. You can show firmness and integrity, assign tasks appropriately, and implement reward and disciplinary policies when needed.
Learn to manage emotions
Getting out of control is never a good way to solve problems. When it comes to conflicts and difficulties, controlling emotions and calmly finding the right solution is a must. Anger and lack of emotional control will only make workplace relationships tense and broken.
Both leaders and employees need to practice emotional management, from how to use the appropriate language and tone of voice to conflict resolution methods. You can share videos and courses, or hire experts to conduct training sessions on this aspect.
Stay away from gossips and bad-mouthing
Gossips are some of the fastest ways to break trust and affection among colleagues. Make it clear that gossips and bad-mouthing others aren’t welcomed in the workplace. Encourage constructive and respectful feedback so that everyone can live in peace and focus on work instead of on drama.
Building good work relationships is worth it
Cultivating good relationships not only makes work hours more enjoyable, but also improves workplace morale. However, not everyone is capable of doing so effectively.
With just a little attention to the above simple principles, you and your staff can build lasting relationships at work. Good luck!
Good work relationships are essential to strengthening teamwork in your business. Not convinced yet? Find out why you need to build great teamwork here.