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Why is Building Great Work Relationships Important?

Published September 26, 2022 (last updated on April 19, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

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Anyone who has ever worked understands the value of good workplace relationships. We spend one-third of our day at work. If your employees have a good relationship with you and their colleagues, they will certainly be excited to work. Effective working relationships can consequently make our days and lives easier and happier. A study by Gallup has found that people who have good workplace relationships are more likely to be engaged at work. Good work relationships are also connected to increased profit and improved productivity.

What is relationship building in the workplace?

Humans are inherently social creatures. Relationship building in the workplace can give you freedom, motivation, and peace of mind. The more comfortable your employees are with each other and you, the more confident and motivated they will be. Building relationships at work is not about just being best friends with your co-workers or colleagues. It is about connecting personally and socially with intent to ensure you respect and appreciate each other.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we do our jobs dramatically, establishing effective workplace relationships is more important than ever.

How to build relationships with employees?

Building relationships at work takes time and effort. You can start with these steps:

  • Listen effectively- People respond better to good listeners. If they feel you are truly listening, they trust you. Building trust at the workplace starts from active and effective listening.

  • Be respectful– Everyone wants to be respected and appreciated. No job or role should be considered small or worthless. Be respectful of everyone at the workplace from your intern to your employer.  

  • Implement autonomy- If you implement autonomy and let employees manage boundaries, it helps to develop trust.

  • Appreciate your employees- Genuinely compliment your employees when they excel at their jobs. Don’t wait for the end of the quarter or the year to recognise team efforts. Appreciation is a valuable tool to create a good working relationship.

  • Provide one-to-one interactions- Schedule one-to-one interactions with employees. Take them out for a quick coffee or walk. Start an informal conversation before work or mention something that you found interesting. Little interactions can hep you build strong relationships.  

What is the importance of work relationships?

Workplace relationships are the interactions you have with your employees and colleagues. If your employees don’t trust each other or you, they will struggle to show up and be productive. As the debate around quiet quitting continues to rage, establishing good work relationships can ensure employees feel connected and motivated. Relationships in the workplace are important for many reasons:

  • Improve employee morale- There is a saying that people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.  Employee morale will depend on whether your staff feel evidently safe and trusted. If you build strong relationships, you improve employee morale and engagement.

  • Team members are more productive- If employees have a good friend at work, they are 7 times more like to be engaged at their job.

  • Improves collaboration- If your employees have each other’s back and unconditional trust, they can freely collaborate and work. They also feel empowered to share ideas and opinions.

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How to deal with negative work relationships?

Sometimes you will have a negative or complicated relationship at the workplace. With remote working on the rise, employees communicate virtually which can cause further misunderstandings. How can you deal with negative relationships in the workplace?

  • Find mutually beneficial goals- Finding a mutual goal that is beneficial can help drive trust. There is often a power imbalance between you and your employees. Finding that common ground can make a world of difference.

  • Get to know their perspective- If there is friction, have you wondered why is that the case? Get to know their perspective and also learn more about them. What bothers them? What do they need?

  • Build a rapport- Sometimes its just about building rapport. After all, it takes time and patience. Start slow, with chitchat, general conversations, and engage with them outside of work-related situations.

Employsure for business

Employsure has worked with 30,000 businesses across Australia and New Zealand. We can help you with employment relations and workplace health and safety. Call our 24/7 Advice line today.

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