By: First Union
How to Build Coworker Relationships Among Your Employees
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Is there tension between some of your employees? It’s natural that not everybody gets along with each other. However, when you run a business, you can’t afford to have rifts between coworkers.
Why should you build relationships among your employees? How do you do that? And how do you resolve issues that arise from a bad working relationship? Let’s talk about it.
Why Should You Build Coworker Relationships Among Your Employees?
A Gallup Poll showed that people with good friends at work are more likely to be engaged with their job.
On the flip side, a bad relationship between two coworkers can make the entire environment toxic. That’s why it’s crucial to develop good coworker relationships among your employees.
What Makes a Good Relationship?
How do you define a good relationship? How can you figure out whether your employees have good relationships with each other? Here are a few ways to identify and define a good relationship.
It’s impossible to have a positive work relationship without respect on both sides. If your employees don’t respect each other, find out why and see if you can fix the problem.
Along with respect comes trust. Your employees need to be able to rely on each other to help your business run smoothly. If there are trust issues among your employees, find out why. Do your best to help resolve the trust issue before it gets worse.
Do all your employees look, speak, or think just like you? A business won’t run as well with a bunch of identical people behind it. Try to hire a diverse array of people for your staff. People with diverse backgrounds may come up with more diverse solutions for your business.
Some people have no concept of how much their words affect other people. Encourage your employees to practice mindfulness and encourage rest. This should help prevent conflict.
If two coworkers are struggling to get along, they should be encouraged to communicate their frustrations to each other. A relationship can never be patched if one person constantly wonders what they’ve done to cause the rift.
How to Build Good Coworker Relationships
Now that you can identify a good relationship and you understand why you should encourage good relationships, let’s talk about how to make that happen.
Share More of Yourself
The more any two people share about themselves and open up to others, the more they’ll open up in return. Make it a point to share plenty of details about yourself and encourage your employees to do the same. Relationships should develop between people who find they have more in common than they would expect.
Encourage Your Employees to Discuss Problems Privately
Nobody wants to hear their coworkers making snide remarks about each other all day long. If two (or more/) of your employees aren’t getting along, encourage them to discuss their problems privately. You don’t need their negative energy being flung around your business.
Set Clear Expectations
Make it clear that you don’t tolerate disrespect or bickering in your workplace. Everybody should understand what you expect regarding how people treat each other. If you have clear rules and expectations up front, you don’t have to deal with, “But Karen said…”
Make it a point to appreciate your employees. You should also encourage them to appreciate each other. Perhaps have your employees write a note each time they want to point out something a coworker did that was thoughtful or helpful. At the end of each month, you put all the notes into a bowl, and the note, picked at random, will award a prize to one of the employees whose name was written down for doing something good.
Encourage Your People to Get to Know Each Other
Do your employees tend to keep to themselves all day? While that’s certainly better than arguing, you should encourage your employees to get to know each other. As they get more familiar with each other, hopefully, friendships will develop and improve the work environment.
Speak Positively About Everybody
If you want your employees to speak positively about each other, you must lead by example. Don’t let any of your employees overhear you saying negative things about another employee.
Some people are shy and take some work to come out of their shells. Ask them questions to engage with them face to face. As shy employees speak up more, they have a better chance of developing solid friendships in the workplace.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Everybody makes mistakes. However, publicly shaming an employee who screws up can mess up rapport and relationships between your employees. Always take aside an employee who needs to be talked to rather than addressing them where others can hear.
Managing Difficult Relationships
Not all people get along, and you can’t force people to like each other. However, you can encourage them to have lunch together to try to work out their differences and find common ground. Encourage people to open up about why they don’t like the other person and what can be done about the issue.
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