Understanding the importance of building relationships in the workplace can help advance your career and make work more enjoyable. Regardless of the field you work in, having relationships with your peers can have a direct impact on your professional success. Knowing how to build relationships is a valuable skill.
In this article, we discuss reasons why building relationships in the workplace is important and provide tips for improving relationships at work.
What are workplace relationships?
Workplace relationships are personal relationships between people who work together. Having employees who enjoy positive relationships with each other isn’t only beneficial for the employees’ morale and well-being, but also for the organization as a whole. Besides friendships between coworkers, workplace relationships can also have romantic implications or occur between family members who work for the same company.
Why it’s important to build relationships
Here’s why building positive relationships with coworkers is important for your career:
1. It fosters collaboration
Coworkers who have positive relationships with one another are more likely to perform well when working together on a project. Having teammates you respect can motivate you to perform to the best of your abilities and good communication with them can help all of you perform various tasks more efficiently. Collaboration among team members typically results in less ambiguity in communication, and everyone is more clear on exactly what their specific tasks are.
2. It improves individual productivity
Besides improving overall productivity by having team members who understand each other well, having positive office relationships can improve your own productivity and job-related skills. People who enjoy working with their coworkers tend to consciously and unconsciously work harder, as they enjoy their current situation and want their company to do well in the future.
3. It boosts employee morale
The psychological state of an organization’s employees is typically related to their overall productivity. Having good relationships with the people you spend many hours with each workday can improve your morale, which can have a positive effect on your professional output.
4. It increases employee retention rates
A team that retains its key members usually delivers better long-term results, as everyone is accustomed to the professional styles and attitudes of their coworkers. Employees who feel connected to each other and to the company are less likely to seek employment elsewhere, not only because they’re satisfied professionally but also because the personal relationships they have with their coworkers can be difficult to rebuild elsewhere.
5. It leads to a transfer of skills and knowledge
A team with both senior and junior members is more likely to deliver good long-term results if its members enjoy positive relationships with each other. Collaborative team settings can lead to a transfer of skills between the more experienced workers and the less experienced ones. This can ultimately benefit both the workers and the organization.
6. It benefits your health
Having strong social support is widely regarded as being an important factor for physical health, while social isolation is typically associated with a higher risk of developing serious health issues. Although this applies to your personal life as well, having positive relationships and social interactions at work can help keep you physically and mentally healthy.
7. It inspires creativity
Having strong relationships with your coworkers can stimulate you to think creatively. Working in an environment where you feel relaxed about displaying your own personality can provide you with the inspiration and support you need to produce innovative ideas and thoughts that can lead to more efficient ways of doing things.
8. It facilitates the intake of new team members
A team of coworkers who know each other well and have positive relationships can make it easier for a new team members to integrate, as they can observe how team members relate to each other and gradually adopt those behaviors. Although joining a well-established team can be difficult at first, working within a group of people who enjoy positive relationships is likely to help you integrate quickly.
Tips for building relationships at work
Consider these tips for improving your positive and long-lasting professional relationships:
Schedule time to build relationships
Building positive work relationships takes time, and your daily tasks may can make it more challenging. You can avoid this issue by consciously making time to build relationships with your coworkers before or after work, during lunch, before the start of a meeting or in other similar circumstances.
Ask your colleagues questions
Another major aspect of building relationships is being genuinely curious about various aspects of your coworkers’ lives and actively listening when they tell you about them. Showing an interest in another person and giving them the opportunity to share information about themselves with you can help build strong relationships.
Ask and offer help
People who enjoy good relationships with each other are typically happy to help one another whenever necessary. If you notice a colleague is overwhelmed with work or is having difficulties with a certain task, offering to help may strengthen your relationship; likewise, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help when you genuinely need it.
Keep your promises
Trust is usually crucial for any type of interpersonal relationship. You’re more likely to bond with your coworkers if they perceive you as trustworthy, and the most effective way of doing that is by keeping your commitments and delivering on your promises.
Appreciate your coworkers
You’re more likely to build strong relationships with the people you appreciate and who appreciate you. Make sure your coworkers know that you’re grateful for working with them and for their role within the team.
I hope you find this article helpful.