When you start a new job, a common concern is the extent to which you are going to get along with your colleagues. The personal relationships you build at work can, after all, make or break your working experience. It is therefore important to understand how to create and nurture positive relationships with your colleagues. There are many steps you can take to ensure you get along with your coworkers. In addition to making an effort to chat over lunch or collaborate on projects, you can ask your employer to organize team-building activities.
What are workplace relationships?
Workplace relationships are relationships that exist among coworkers in a professional setting. Healthy professional workplace relationships contribute to a cohesive and productive work environment. By enabling good workplace relationships, you can encourage effective communication and active listening, while creating a talented team that is happy to come to work every day.
What makes good workplace relationships?
Building healthy relationships at work can take time, and they don’t come easily to everyone. You need to put in the time and effort to foster them. If you are wondering what it takes to develop solid relationships in the workplace, below are some of the factors and actions that go a long way towards promoting healthy interaction among coworkers:
- Open and honest communication
- Mutual respect
- Finding common ground
- Collaborative decision-making
- Being understanding
- Helping each other
- Positive mindset
- Actively listening
- Asking questions
Why is building strong work relationships important?
Building healthy workplace relationships can help create a positive work environment. In a nutshell, stronger relationships help individuals feel more comfortable in the workplace. This yields valuable benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Increases productivity: When colleagues feel comfortable with each other, they communicate more easily and are more productive.
- Improves morale: If everyone at work is a team player, it allows employees to feel supported. This, in turn, creates a more positive environment and increases morale.
- Better retention rates: With strong work relations comes job satisfaction, as people are happy to come into work every day.
- Better chances of career success: When employees get on, they help each other improve. This encourages them to further their careers and develop professionally.
- Improves mental health: If you get along with your colleagues and feel as though you are working alongside friends, you are less likely to experience stress. This is beneficial for your mental health.
- Facilitates the acquisition of transferable skills: When you’re comfortable enough to collaborate with other employees, you begin to learn from them and their approach. Such knowledge can go a long way towards enhancing your career journey.
How to build relationships in the workplace
There are a variety of steps you can take to develop strong professional bonds with your coworkers. However, in order to truly make this work, it’s important that you are comfortable in your own skin. Once you have achieved this, you should:
Make an effort to communicate
Communication is key, both for work purposes and your personal life. It goes without saying that if you want to create a positive work environment and get along with your colleagues, you also need to make an effort to communicate about things other than work. Having casual conversations about your home life, your hobbies, or your favorite movies is the first step towards getting to know everyone in the office better. Once you’ve developed a personal rapport with your colleagues, you will experience the formation of stronger workplace bonds.
If your company is serious about creating a positive work environment, it will organize activities that are intended to aid your interpersonal work relationships. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of ice-breakers. Icebreakers are ideal for getting to know people better, as they test your social skills and force you to make connections with other employees.
The best ice-breaking events are the ones that take place away from the office. Neutral locations allow employees to relax and turn off work mode. They create an environment in which masks are dropped and minds opened. For example, Safari Cocktail is an ice-breaking activity that is centered around a cocktail party.
Meet up outside of work
Developing positive work relationships begins at work but doesn’t end when you leave the office. You need to commit time and effort to getting to know someone before you can develop meaningful relationships with them. You can do this by meeting with your colleagues outside work.
Whether you go out for a meal, hit up a happy hour, or just go for a coffee, making the most of your time away from work to get to know colleagues is essential. While it is also important to find a balance between your personal life and work life, if all goes to plan, work colleagues will turn into friends, and your work and personal life will seamlessly merge.
Respect each other
Respect should always be prioritized within a work relationship. After all, if you don’t respect your colleagues and your colleagues don’t respect you, you can look forward to a challenging work environment. That being said, as long as you have competent interpersonal skills, respecting each other shouldn’t be a problem.
Respect begins with being an active listener, who genuinely cares about what others have to say. You should also honor your commitments with your colleagues, in order to prove that you are respectful of their time. This will ensure that people trust your intentions and feel comfortable talking to you. It will also encourage them to reciprocate the consideration that you show towards them.
Although it can be tempting to jump head first into building effective workplace relationships, you also need to be aware of other people’s boundaries. Not everyone has the same level of social skills, so you need to be able to gauge what others feel comfortable with. Although we suggested meeting up with colleagues outside of the workplace, you might need to work up to this milestone as you’ll need time to build stronger connections with them. Setting boundaries ties in with the need to be a respectful colleague, as it requires you to actively listen and learn about the boundaries that other people set for themselves.
Team building services
Team building and relationship building make coming to work more enjoyable for employees, while also helping to create a more productive and efficient work environment. In order to help you and your employees get to know each other better, Kronos Experience has created a one-of-a-kind turnkey icebreaker activity. Safari Cocktail is a brand new way to build relationships with colleagues in a fun and interactive manner.
All you need in order to enjoy this activity is a mobile phone, as all the challenges are conveyed to participants on their phones, with each prompt/challenge pushing them to get to know each other. We made the entire experience as thrilling as possible with the inclusion of augmented reality and photo booths. This activity is perfect for any kind of icebreaker or team-building event as it can easily accommodate anything from 10 to 1000 participants, thereby making it perfect for small office cocktail hours, large-scale conferences, and networking events.