The Importance of Workplace Relationships
Some of the best advocates you will have in your career will be your current colleagues. While the workplace is full of people with differing personalities, goals and perspectives, taking the initiative to build strong relationships with those around you will help improve how you work with them now and potentially open doors to more opportunities and projects in the future. At the very least, it will make the time spent at work more enjoyable!
If you’re looking to go #AboveandBeyond in 2018, here are six reasons why improving workplace relationships is key.
- Relationships will help you excel in your career
It’s pretty simple: if you like what you do and like the people you do it with, you’re more likely to excel at the job! Good workplace relationships are strongly correlated with higher productivity, as more engaged employees are naturally more motivated to perform better at work. Finding ways to connect with your colleagues can help facilitate better interactions on assignments, build respect, and position you for prime opportunities in the future.
- Networking will come more naturally
Networking may sound intimidating, but really, it’s nothing more than getting to know people. Improving professional networking skills is a goal for many of us looking to go #AboveandBeyond, and fortunately, one of the best environments for practicing those skills is at your current office. If you’re young or newer to the company, take time to grab coffee with an experienced coworker to pick their brain for useful info, and don’t limit yourself to your immediate colleagues. Instead, widen your network by reaching out to coworkers in other departments. While most people concentrate on networking “up” with someone at a higher level, it's also smart to connect with peers and junior colleagues, as you never know where they will end up and how they might be able to help you one day.
- You’ll learn from coworkers’ expertise
You can’t do everything on your own, and sometimes it’s beneficial to lean on and learn from your colleagues. The stronger your workplace relationships, the more apt your coworkers are to have your back in difficult situations, or to lend an extra hand. The key is to demonstrate respect and a willingness to learn. Remember, relationships are a two-way street. Look for ways to assist coworkers and help out in a pinch, and chances are, the favor will be returned when you’re the one in need.
- You can make yourself indispensable
Trust and strong relationships go hand-in-hand, and by demonstrating your engagement and dependability, others will recognize you as a go-to person that’s indispensable to the office. Seek out projects that allow you to collaborate with others, rather than just working solo. The more people that can vouch for your work quality and ethic, the more valuable you become.
- Relationships promote perspective and trust
Not every workplace decision is clear-cut. Instead, it’s to your benefit to talk through important decisions and weigh options with colleagues, as you’re more likely to arrive at the best decision possible. When facing difficult decisions, strong workplace relationships make it more comfortable to reach out for different perspectives. In that same vein, if you’re looking to improve an aspect of your work, being able to receive open and honest feedback from a work friend will help you identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as strategies for improvement.
- It’s fun!
Nothing beats workplace stress like a few good laughs with co-workers. You don’t necessarily have to be best friends with everyone, but chances are, you have more in common with your co-workers than you think! Strong workplace relationships create a fun, inviting atmosphere – and who couldn’t use a little more fun at work?!