Fostering good relationships among employees

On average, employees will spend a third of their lives at work, so it’s safe to say their jobs have a huge impact on their quality of life. That means it’s important to ensure their time is spent in an organization where they can have healthy relationships with their colleagues. Those positive relationships are good for employees and good for your organization.

3 aspects of good employee relationships

Communication, teamwork and trust are the three hallmarks of good employee relationships.

  1. Open communication is the first step toward a positive working relationship. It occurs when all individuals can express ideas to one another, or have a debate, in a constructive way.
  2. Individuals looking to build strong working relationships should perform well in a team setting. They do their fair share of the work and give praise when others do well.
  3. Feeling like you can rely on your coworkers, and in turn are trusted by them, is an important part of building a workplace relationship. Trust is reciprocal, so having confidence in a coworker first is a great step toward gaining their trust in return.

Employees who identify as having good relationships with their coworkers tend to be more committed, productive, and satisfied at work.

How to encourage workplace relationship building

An employee’s sense of belonging to their team, department, and the company arises from good interpersonal working relationships. How can you help foster good working relationships among employees? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Help them establish relationships from day one
    There’s no better time than the on-boarding process to help new employees establish good working relationships. Arrange for new employees to meet with individuals throughout the company to learn more about the organization, and consider having them job shadow with others in similar roles.
  • Make time in your workday to have small talk and encourage occasional chatter among your direct reports. If you’re working remotely, take advantage of technology to make that happen.
    Whether interactions take place in-person, over the phone, or in a virtual meeting platform, they have the same impact – social connections build trust and friendships, both of which contribute to great working relationships.
  • Include fun activities in team meetings or schedule regular team outings.
    Earmarking space for coworkers to relax and enjoy each other’s company is good for relationship building. The activity doesn’t have to take up much time, but the addition of non-work-related fun can have a positive effect on a group. Trivia, Word Scrambler, 3 truths and a lie, Scattergories and Charades are just a few ideas for games to help conversation flow among coworkers.
  • Schedule company-wide events that bring departments together to intermingle.
    Giving employees the opportunity to interact with coworkers from different departments helps establish company-wide relationships and promotes collaboration.
  • Support the creation of committees that plan special events or groups related to certain interests.
    Not only will the members of the committee bond while spending time together planning, but their efforts can bring individuals with similar interests together for an activity. Some ideas for committees or groups include: a community involvement or volunteer committee, a company outing committee to help plan company-wide events, a book or reading club, or a sports club, like running, walking, pickleball, basketball, etc.

These are just a few ways to strengthen relationships among employees.

Whether through in-person or virtual means, most everyone can benefit from cultivating good relationships with their coworkers.

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