Your business will grow successfully if your employees are content. It is pretty simple, employees that are happy work better, and better work leads to business growth. Everyone in the company bears responsibility for maintaining a positive work environment, but it is your job to recognize when to act on this. Still, as easy as it sounds to motivate and nurture, there are a few things you need to focus on.
How can you build strong relationships in the workplace?
Let’s say the major goal is improved working relationships. In this case, your focus should be on the employees.
Creating a positive work environment is a crucial step for a successful business, and old-fashioned strictness has no place in the modern workplace. Happy employees do not want to leave, and if you have competent staff, you surely want to keep them for longer.
To sustain positive employee relationships, you need to know your brand and goals inside and out, and back them up. Many things affect the company culture; from staffing, to brand mission, inspiring the team members, and stating perks and benefits of working for your company, among others. Everything combined makes the team culture sustainable.
A blend of professional and casual communication
As much as the workplace needs strict professionalism, too much of this will lead to unhappy employees and rigidness. Dissatisfied people shape the work culture and morale, and often not on purpose. If you regularly motivate them toward a casual work environment, you can expect better interpersonal relationships that lead to excellent productivity.
It’s almost impossible to find employees who thrive in a strict, formal environment and even the most disciplined employee needs a break from the formal attitude. You should recognize when and how to break up a formal work routine and let the employees feel valued as human beings, not just as workers.
If you get to know the employees, they will feel appreciated, and positive, and you will have a deeper insight into their work in turn. Who knows, you might even discover that someone has more talents and skills that could be a big plus for the work role!
Inclusive team activities
A variety of roles in a company often divides the whole team into smaller teams of a few members. It is a good idea to organize regular team meetings and team-building activities that include every single employee, regardless of their role.
Inclusive activities lead to job satisfaction and great employee engagement with each other, and with you as a higher rank. This way you value the employees as much as you value your business, and vice versa!
Be as creative as you like, outdoors or indoors team building, online group activities, trips, or fun team competitions. Think broad, and organize group coffee breaks or similar. The options are endless.
Respect the work-life balance
The balance between work and personal life is delicate and needs special attention. From your point of view, constant delegating, or frequent messages regardless of the hour might seem fine. This is where you could be wrong. If everything goes in the name of work, then add respect to this equation too.
You cannot encourage employees to work better and faster by overloading them and invading their private time. Work-related issues belong during working hours. If your company follows flexible working hours, there is always an overlap when most of your team works use that time to delegate or communicate. Sending out emails when employees are resting, sleeping, or enjoying family time over dinner is a no-no.
Open communication is your asset
Whether you are in HR or management or else, openly communicating about work challenges is a job half done! However, you don’t need to limit approachable communication to work only. Similar to work-life balance, work-life communication is just as needed.
When someone of a higher rank genuinely cares for employees, it shows through a rich variety of topics. Think of it as getting to know employees as new acquaintances. You’ll get to know your team much better if you occasionally ask how their life is going, or if they need assistance in a work matter. Every time you encourage an employee, you make them trust and respect you.
Put it this way—an appropriate, friendly approach gives employees the impression that they can ask you anything work-related too. Take a genuine interest. Ask about their day or week. Maybe even chit-chat about their holiday or vacation plans, or how their weekend went.
Micromanaging is unpleasant, but so is idleness
These are the two extremes that most leaders or managers try to practice. Unfortunately, both options lead to worsened relationships in the workplace.
With micromanaging, you decrease the friendly approach and increase the anxiety of employees. If you want to have control over the workflow, friendly communication and respect are better options. Do not put pressure on yourself either, monitoring every little click or activity is tedious and hard for all included in the work process, including managers as well as employees. Building trust cannot be done with obsessive control.
On the other hand, do not “ghost” the employees! Whether it’s a meeting, consultation, requests, or basic reporting—the employees need your presence, as much as you need theirs. Find the middle of these two extremes and practice it.
The takeaway from good working relationships
Overall, handling a business is not an easy job, and is not limited to just finances and resources. The human factor plays a major role as a basis for your brand growth and company success. You should find the perfect midground between too much control or not enough of it, perks and benefits, offers for upgrades of skills, casual communication, and respecting the work-life balance.
Try to pay somewhat equal attention to both big picture goals and team synergy. You cannot go wrong if you perceive the employees as unique human beings who offer more than professional skills. When you focus on mutual trust, assistance, and respect, your employees feel valued and give back the same loyalty to you and your company.