Making Work Enjoyable and Productive
According to the Gallup organization, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. But it doesn’t have to be a “BFF”, simply have a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be happy. What’s more, good work relationships are linked to better customer engagement and increased profit.
Why Have Good Work Relationships?
Human beings are naturally social creatures. And when you consider that we spend one-third of our lives at work, it’s clear that good relationships with colleagues will make our jobs more enjoyable.
The more comfortable co-workers are around one other, the more confident they’ll feel voicing opinions, brainstorming and going along with new ideas. This level of teamwork is essential to embrace change, create and innovate. And when people see the successes of working together in this way, group morale and productivity soars.
Good work relationships also give you freedom. Instead of spending time and energy dealing with negative relationships, you can, instead, focus on opportunities – from winning new business to focusing on personal development. And having a strong professional circle will also help you to develop your career, opening up opportunities that otherwise might pass you by.
Defining a Good Relationship
A good work relationship requires trust, respect, self-awareness, inclusion and open communication. Let’s explore each of these characteristics.
- Trust: when you trust your team members, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions. And you don’t have to waste time or energy “watching your back.”
- Respect: teams working together with mutual respect value one another’s input, and find solutions based on collective insight, wisdom and creativity.
- Self Awareness: this means taking responsibility for your words and actions, and not letting your own negative emotions impact the people around you.
- Inclusion: don’t just accept diverse people and opinions, but welcome them! For instance, when your colleagues offer different opinions from yours, factor their insights and perspective into your decision-making.
- Open communication: all good relationships depend on open, honest communication. Whether you’re sending emails, or meeting face-to-face or on video calls, the more effectively you communicate with those around you, the better you’ll connect.
Which Work Relationships Are Important?
Although you should try to build and maintain good working relationships with everyone, some deserve extra attention. Like the relationship between a boss and employee. A manager alone can account for up to 70% of a team’s engagement.
Regular one-on-ones let managers build relationships with employees. At these catch ups, you can show how an individual’s work fits with the organization’s “bigger picture,” understand their strengths, and help them identify areas to develop.
You can also explore managing upwards, to analyse how your own manager prefers to work, anticipate their needs and adapt your approach for a smoother relationship.
You’ll also benefit from developing good work relationships with key stakeholders. These are the people who have a stake in your success or failure, such as customers, suppliers and your team. Forming a bond with them will help you to ensure that your projects – and career – stay on track.