No organization can conceivably function for very long without the co-operation of its employees. Unfortunately, the necessity in any organization is that there are various levels of status within the team, and Effective Workplace Relationships can suffer, This can lead to workplace conflicts if not managed properly.
The effective leader has to realize that the team under them is there because they have to be. Most employees work to earn money, not because they enjoy the daily grind of a nine-to-five. For this reason, there must be an effort to build healthy workplace relationships, or life in the organisation can become untenable for everyone, and productivity will decline.
Leaders need to make their workplace society function positively, with co-operation and respect. In this way everyone is working for the common good and towards a common purpose. This demands that effective workplace relationships are built upon an understanding of each other’s needs. It is no different to how things should be in the home; no personal relationship will last very long if there is a sense that one or both parties are being selfish.
The most effective way to understand how other people are feeling is to listen attentively to what they have to say. This must be done without being judgmental, and not as though you are being forced to do so by some higher authority. Very often, teams will have the same goals as their leaders, but may just want to know that they are not seen as robots that have no real creative input.
Advantage of Effective Workplace Relationships
Quality workplace relationships make people feel happy. One of the major reasons why employees move on from a company is because of relationship clashes with leaders or other colleagues. Leaders should also make absolutely sure that they create the circumstances for understanding within their team, and this means asking questions.
Assuming that your team will simply pipe up and express their feelings is not enough; many people will not feel it is their place to speak up unless they are specifically asked to do so.
Listening is a skill that should be done attentively, not glancing at your watch every couple of minutes or trying not to look bored. This means you listen without interrupting or fidgeting, and with the correct expression. Your expression, by the way, should be genuine or you will be found out very quickly and the situation will become worse than had you not asked in the first place.
Another great way to foster healthy workplace relationships with your team is by meeting them in a more social environment on regular occasions. Some companies choose to send their staff to regular social outings while others prefer to host a monthly BBQ or weekend trips. Irrespective of what you end up choosing, the key lies in giving your team a chance to connect away from the daily grind.
Building effective workplace relationships means that neither party must make any assumptions. As a leader, you cannot expect people to understand exactly what we want and why you want it. Sometimes it is this lack of comprehension that causes problems. As much as you must trust your team members to have intelligence, if they are not party to the goals you are working towards, they can become resistant.
As far as possible, your team should be conversant with your organisational goals and how their actions are contributing to their successful outcome. Humans are inquisitive and function better when not kept in the dark.
Respect is the key ingredient of any good workplace relationships, and this means respect for yourself as well as others. Genuinely listening and understanding are the ways in which you show that you respect the person you are talking to. Quickly judging based on preconceived ideas or prejudice is the opposite of having respect.
Bear in mind that not everyone will respond in 100% perfect fashion to all that occurs in the workplace. Although it is not the leader’s job to be a permanent shoulder to cry on, it is important to accept that your team is made up of individuals whose lives may not be as perfect as their coffee-break banter might lead you to believe.
Whilst creating healthy workplace relationships is a crucial goal, the smart leader will always bear in mind that conflict is inevitable and must be managed, rather than ignored for the sake of apparent peace.