Building Better Work Relationships

Human beings are social creatures. We find and make relationships in almost every aspect of our lives. Some relationships we have the privilege of choosing and actively pursuing. Other relationships we have less of a say in. Work relationships often fall into the latter category. We rarely get a say in who we work with, and sometimes those relationships may not be the easiest to navigate. Connecting and effectively communicating with coworkers is invaluable in any work relationship. So how do you better your relationships at work? Don’t stress about it, we’ve collected advice and tips to hopefully help you traverse the seas of coworker relationships! 

Trust.

We’ve been taught from a young age that trust is the foundation of any relationship. Without trust, you can’t properly build a positive, healthy connection. Being able to trust your coworkers brings a lot of positive aspects to any work environment. When coworkers trust one another, this creates a safe place to be able to brainstorm ideas without fear of being judged. Having the ability to speak openly and without hesitation encourages employees to give ideas, constructive criticism and encouragement to those around them. Increased open communication leads to better productivity across the board. This is one of the many reasons why having a close, trusting team is essential to any business. If your team is having trouble trusting each other, try some of these activities! This article provides a lot of good team building activity suggests while also explaining why they benefit your team members! 

Respect.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me. -Aretha Franklin

As we all know from the infamous Aretha Franklin song, having a little respect is important. Okay okay, all jokes aside, respect is just as essential to any relationship as trust. Respecting and trusting your family members, friends, and especially coworkers is critical for success in life. You may establish trust in a relationship, but without respect that trust doesn’t hold very much weight. Mutual respect between you and your coworkers is another step in creating a positive, healthy, thriving work environment. Having mutual respect means that there is an understanding between coworkers that we may not share the same beliefs or values and having respect for those different believes and values. When you and your coworkers have mutual respect, you know you can continue to build your professional relationship on that foundation.  Here are a few ways to show respect for your coworkers and others:

Listen.

Listening to understand what someone has to say instead of listening to respond is a basic way to show that you respect that person and what they have to say. 

  1. Positive affirmation. Letting people know that they matter, and that they’re important is a great way to show respect.
  2. Helping hands. Giving back to others and serving them shows that you care. Caring in turn shows that you respect them. 
  3. Be kind and polite. This one may sound like a “uh yeah of course” one but being kind and polite to one another is a great way to perceptibly show respect

Appreciation.

Showing appreciation for your coworkers is another way to improve and strengthen your relationships. Knowing that what one does in the workplace has a positive impact on your fellow employees means a lot. Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Publicly recognizing each individual employee for their accomplishments and endeavors creates a positive atmosphere for every work environment. Start small by just giving shout outs to the team, whether in a meeting or through an email chain. Letting each employee know they’re an important and valued member of the team is vital. Looking for more ways to show appreciation for your employees? Check out some of these great ideas!

Tools for Success.

Another great way to have successful and prosperous coworker relationships is knowing how each coworker best communicates. Communication is important to the success of any team. Understanding how everyone communicates differently can give the team a better advantage when it comes handling conflict or simply communicating effectively. A lot of companies ask employees to take personality tests or something similar before they even begin work with the company. The knowledge that these tests provide allow managers to tailor their management style to each individual employee. With more personalized management based on how each individual best responds to direction, a team can feel more connected and feel as if they are better known and valued by their management. 

Here are a few personality tests to try out!

While we may not have a choice in who we work with, coworker relationships are some of the most important relationships in our lives. Work takes up a lot of our time, and if you have unhappy or unhealthy relationships at work it isn’t the most pleasant experience. Hopefully these few pieces of advice can help you in the workplace. Coworkers don’t have to be your best friends, but positive relationships with your coworkers can lead to many successes in work and beyond!