8 tips for building strong work relationships
Forming strong working relationships is more important than ever during the pandemic.
Whether you work remotely or in the office, a good relationship with your peers can improve morale in the workplace, increase productivity and work satisfaction, and improve personal growth, according to Indeed.
Here are some tips for building strong relationships:
1. Communicate often
One of the most important aspects of relationship building is effective communication, which involves just as much listening as it does talking. This means that you should actively listen when a coworker or manager approaches you and consider their point of view before responding. And while you’re remote, and communication may seem a bit harder, try scheduling a phone/video call.
2. Appreciate and recognize
Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their accomplishments, whether it’s friends, family, or coworkers. When a fellow coworker goes above and beyond on a project, helps you out on a task, or otherwise flexes their skills, make sure you show both recognition and appreciation for their actions.
3. Make time for coworkers
For many, a good work relationship can’t simply be built over random interactions throughout the day. To create a strong and lasting relationship with a coworker, make time for them. Ask if they’d like to join you for lunch over their break, schedule a quick coffee run where you can catch up, or see if they’d like to stretch their legs on a quick walk and chat. Or schedule a virtual chat - with some activity you both enjoy, like trivia night!
4. Don't blame
Things can go wrong at work. Mistakes are made and issues arise. However, placing blame and pointing fingers is rarely the way to handle them. Try to uncover how the mistake was made, then work to correct it for future instances.
5. Avoid workplace gossip
Participating in workplace gossip is a big no-no. Whether you’re working on forming workplace relationships or strengthening your existing ones, bringing gossip into them will only have harmful consequences. It can cause other coworkers to see you as untrustworthy or mean-spirited and might even result in conflicts that impact your work and productivity. Here are some tips to steer clear of office gossip.
6. Be consistent
Your productivity and work ethic can have an impact on your working relationships. Though it’s easy to assume a friend won’t mind a missed deadline or notice poorer-than-normal output, it’s important to stay consistent with your work, continue meeting deadlines, and fulfilling your responsibilities to your best ability.
7. Know company guidelines
It is important to know the unofficial rules and expectations involving working relationships. These boundaries may vary depending on the culture of a company. Some companies, for instance, may encourage a more casual work environment, whereas others may expect employees to act more formally.
8. Understand boundaries
While working relationships can be great for your productivity and your job satisfaction, there can be a point when they actually inhibit productivity. To create an ideal balance between work output and sustaining your working relationships, make sure you’re not spending too much time socializing with friends and not enough time finishing your tasks and focusing on your work.