Did you know that according to a study conducted by Gallup, employees who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs?
Building strong relationships at work not only promotes a positive work environment but also has a significant impact on employee engagement and overall job satisfaction
In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, building strong relationships at work has become more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we work, making it challenging for new employees and early-career professionals to establish meaningful connections.
However, fostering positive relationships within the workplace is crucial for productivity, collaboration, and a sense of belonging. In this blog, we will explore practical tips and strategies to help you build better relationships at work.
Be Curious: Taking an Interest in Others
One of the fundamental steps to building better relationships at work is showing genuine curiosity and interest in others. By taking the time to get to know your colleagues, you can develop a deeper understanding of their backgrounds, skills, and experiences.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, employees who feel that their colleagues are genuinely interested in them are more likely to report higher job satisfaction and engagement levels.
In fact, 64% of employees who feel curious and interested in others at work also reported being highly engaged in their jobs, compared to only 8% of those who felt their colleagues lacked interest in them.
This highlights the significant impact of genuine curiosity and interest in building better relationships and fostering a positive work environment.
Here are some tips to be more curious:
- Engage in active listening: When interacting with your colleagues, listen attentively and ask thoughtful questions. This demonstrates that you value their input and perspectives.
- Seek common ground: Look for shared interests or hobbies that can serve as conversation starters. Building connections based on commonalities can create a sense of camaraderie and rapport.
- Connect with colleagues outside your team: Take the initiative to reach out to individuals in other departments or teams. Building relationships beyond your immediate circle can expand your network and provide new opportunities for collaboration.
Networking in Today's Business World
Networking has always been essential for professional growth, but its importance has been amplified in the current business landscape. Whether it's in-person, virtual, or online, networking can help you establish valuable connections and broaden your horizons.
According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 95% of professionals agree that face-to-face networking is essential for long-term career success.
While virtual and online networking have gained prominence, the study emphasises the enduring significance of in-person interactions.
Building strong relationships through personal connections remains a vital aspect of professional growth and development.
Here are some strategies to make the most out of networking:
- Attend industry events and conferences: Participating in conferences, seminars, and trade shows provides excellent networking opportunities. Engage in conversations with professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries to expand your network.
- Utilise online platforms: Online professional networks like LinkedIn offer a wealth of resources for networking. Join relevant groups and engage in discussions to connect with professionals who share similar interests or expertise.
- Offer assistance and support: Building mutually beneficial relationships is key to effective networking. Offer your expertise, assistance, or resources to others, and they will be more inclined to reciprocate when you need support.
Embracing Diversity of Thought
Diversity of thought is a powerful asset in any organisation. When we embrace different perspectives, we open ourselves up to new ideas, innovative solutions, and better decision-making.
According to a study by McKinsey & Company, organisations with gender and ethnically diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability compared to companies with less diverse leadership.
This highlights the positive correlation between diversity of thought and business success. Embracing different perspectives and fostering an inclusive environment not only promotes innovation but also enhances overall performance and financial outcomes for organisations.
Here's how you can foster an environment that appreciates diversity of thought:
- Practise active inclusivity: Encourage all team members to contribute their thoughts and ideas during meetings and discussions. Create a safe space where everyone feels valued and respected.
- Seek feedback: Actively seek feedback from colleagues with different viewpoints. By listening to and considering their perspectives, you can gain valuable insights and challenge your own assumptions.
- Emphasise collaboration: Encourage cross-functional collaboration and team projects that bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. This promotes the exchange of ideas and promotes a culture of inclusivity.
Offering Help and Support to Others
Building better relationships at work involves not only receiving support but also being proactive in offering help to others. By being a reliable and supportive team member, you can foster a collaborative and cooperative work environment.
A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that 78% of employees who reported having a supportive and helpful colleague felt more engaged and satisfied with their job.
Additionally, employees who actively offered help to others experienced increased job satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment in their roles.
This demonstrates the positive impact of being proactive in offering assistance and support to colleagues, leading to a more collaborative work environment and improved overall job satisfaction.
Consider the following tips:
- Be proactive: Anticipate the needs of your colleagues and offer assistance before they ask for help. This shows that you are invested in their success and well-being.
- Share your expertise: If you possess specialised skills or knowledge, be willing to share them with your colleagues. This cultivates an atmosphere of learning and growth within the organisation.
- Recognise and appreciate others: Acknowledge the contributions of your colleagues and express gratitude for their efforts. Small gestures like saying "thank you" or recognizing achievements can go a long way in building stronger relationships.
Building better relationships at work is crucial for personal and professional growth. By being curious, networking effectively, embracing diversity of thought, and offering help to others, you can create a positive and inclusive work environment.
Remember, strong relationships are built over time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts. As you invest in building meaningful connections, you will reap the benefits of increased productivity, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction.
If you're looking for professional guidance and support in building better relationships at work, MDA Training can provide the expertise you need.
With our extensive experience in delivering training and development programs, MDA Trainers have a deep understanding of the dynamics involved in fostering strong workplace relationships.
From interactive workshops to personalised coaching, our offerings are designed to equip you with the skills and strategies necessary to thrive in a collaborative environment. Don't hesitate to get in touch with MDA Trainers today and take the first step towards building better relationships at work.