Whether you are new to the organization or want to get to know the people you work with more, it’s important to foster relationships with your colleagues.
Benefits of a Good Relationship with your Co-Workers:
As humans are naturally social, we feel the need to bond with the people around us. So as a result of friendships at work, we feel happier at our jobs. We also can be more productive when we know how to work effectively with the people around us.
It not only benefits our overall happiness at work, but these relationships can also impact us in the future. Job references and networking are just two examples of how your current co-workers can help you in your career. Remember, these relationships can help you network to your dream job.
Tips for Establishing Professional Relationships:
1. Be Courteous & Dependable
Imagine you’re walking down the hall and your co-worker says “Good morning” to you. Do you:
a. Say “good morning” with a smile on your face and continue the conversation by asking “how are you?” or “how was your weekend?”
b. Smile at them and say nothing as you walk passed them.
c. Make no eye contact and pretend as if you didn’t hear them.
Now this one might be obvious, but when we are in our own world, it can be difficult to remember that you should always pick “a.” Remember this is being polite and courteous to your co-workers and while this is a simple gesture, it will go a long way around the workplace. Also, being dependable shows your co-workers that you care about helping them when they need it and in turn, they will be there to help you.
2. Communicate Effectively
Communication is so important in any workplace scenario. It’s crucial that you learn how each of your co-workers communicates effectively. Whether it’s by email, phone call, or a personal visit to their desk, how do each of your co-workers want to be contacted? Make the effort to even ask your co-workers about their preferred method of communication that way you can avoid becoming a nuisance. Communication also includes being a good listener to your co-workers. Stress builds at work and many people just need that person to vent to. By allowing your teammates to speak what’s on their minds to you, you will build rapport.
3. Be Positive & Avoid Office Drama
Whatever you do, don’t engage in office drama and gossip. This is a good way to get on bad terms with co-workers. You never want to pick and choose the co-workers you are friends with and co-workers that you don’t want to associate with because this will eventually turn out badly. Just think back to high school when gossip always ruined relationships. Stay on the positive side of things and enjoy conversations with everyone.
4. Respect Others
From the president to the maintenance technician, it’s important to respect everyone you work with. We all have important responsibilities in our line of work, so we all should be respected for it. We should all be respected regardless, but food for thought: you never know who might get promoted to as your superior one day or if you switch jobs, who you might end up working with again.
5. Be Cautious about Social Media
It may seem like an innocent thing to follow or connect with your co-workers on social media platforms, but think twice before you do. LinkedIn is a little different, since it’s a professional networking site. However, many professionals try to keep their personal life separate from work by limiting their engagement with co-workers on social media. Be mindful of this by asking your co-workers directly if they would like to connect. If you are the one who wishes to stay private, politely address it with co-workers who try to connect with you. Be sure to also ask your supervisor if there are any social media guidelines and make sure you abide by them.
Sherri Elliott-Yeary, the Generational Guru and best selling author of Ties to Tattoos, Turning Generational Differences into a Competitive Advantage, is a speaker, coach and trainer in the area of Human Resources and Talent Management. Sherri specializes in helping employers maximize their human capital by collaborating across the generational gap. Her expertise in human capital management and organization includes: workforce planning, company culture, training, assessments, HRIS implementation, regulatory compliance, strategic alignment, payroll, compensation and benefit programs. Learn more at generationalguru.com.