Building strong and effective relationships in your workplace can be a game changer when improving your working life. Strong relationships can reduce day-to-day stresses and provide extra opportunities for mentoring and career development.
Every work environment is different – and while you might not always find your best friend through your workplace, there’s always plenty of opportunity to connect with colleagues, get guidance on your career, and find your place within an amazing team.
Starting a new job or apprenticeship is an exciting time, with lots of new skills to master and people to meet. Knowing how to effectively build working relationships with your colleagues and senior management can be a little daunting, but by following a few of our quick tips, you can set yourself up for success.
Communicate with Confidence
Communication really is key to building stronger work relationships. Great communication includes listening effectively to others, sharing your views, and agreeing a common goal with clear actions.
Open communication enables everyone to share their opinions, ideas, and feedback. You can learn a lot about a business and benefit from your colleagues’ experience by simply listening to others and asking questions.
Keep your manager and colleagues to date with what you are up to and remember there is no such thing as a silly question. If you are overwhelmed with a task or your workload, be open and share this with your manager. Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved. Your managers are there to support and help you.
An important factor for building a strong relationship with your colleagues is trust. You can build trust by ensuring that you follow through on your work commitments and by communicating ahead of time if circumstances prevent you from delivering on a deadline.
Once you have established trust, this will be rewarded with more independence in your day-to-day work, and potentially get you involved in more important tasks.
You are more likely to develop trust with your colleagues if they know that they can rely on you to ‘get the job done’. However, don’t forget that if you have too much on your plate to be able to stick to your deadlines, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
If you have an idea that could improve the productivity of your team, don’t be afraid to present it to your boss. They will be impressed that you are thinking big, and if you have built up a strong relationship, this should give your idea more credibility. This is especially true if your ideas will also help them to meet their own objectives.
Be open to new tasks; being able to support Senior Management on projects will position you as an asset to the team. Your help on different tasks will not go unnoticed – especially during busy times, being able to support other members of staff will be extremely helpful.
Professional relationships don’t have to be entirely focused on work. While boundaries between work and social lives are important for many people, a little friendliness goes a long way.
Ask about people’s interests, remember what they had planned for the weekend, and if someone’s looking a little frazzled after a meeting – a well-timed round of tea can be the start of a beautiful working relationship.