Building workplace relationships are a cornerstone of what creates a positive working environment. For some, this comes easy, they’re social magnets who naturally draw attention and make friends with colleagues easy. For others, the task of building a working relationship with their peers is a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous, nor does it have to be hard work to socially connect with people, but creating the right working relationships is necessary if you want to drive your career forward and achieve business goals. Here are some reasons why:
- Building relationships with both influential and aspiring colleagues in your office will help you grow your influence internally. In turn, you will become more of a leader, be given growth opportunities and the chance to have your input within the business.
- You can create your own community. Becoming a leader isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen By creating the right relationships, you can grow an internal following who will seek you for help, advice and general feedback on their work, as they value your opinion.
- Who knows what the future holds? A colleague may move on, build a fantastic career at a great company and want you to join them?
- LinkedIn recommendations! As the world continues to become more digitally aware, the possibilities for endorsements and recommendations through social networks grow. You’ll find those you have built working relationships with are far more likely to write you a recommendation or endorse you than those you don’t have relationships with.
The obvious benefits extend way beyond these four points, from a positive psychological effect through to a positive health effect, creating great working relationships is key to ensuring happiness and growth at work.
how to find your working relationship targets
OK, so the reasons why are covered, but how do we identify who we should build a relationship with at work? As often with workplaces, it’s down to individual perceptions, your drivers and what you want from your career.
working out your career goals
Here at Hemsley Fraser we often talk about the ‘WHY?’ Nothing changes here. In order to work out who you want to connect with at work is dependent on what you want from your job or career. Here’s why – For those who look at their jobs as a 9-5, where they look to make workplace friends help make the day easier and run quicker, their goals will differ from career focused colleagues who look to build positive working relations with influential members of the business who can have a say on their career and growth.
Need help discovering your workplace goals? Read our blog for 5 tips to help you create your goals.
which working relationships are going to help you achieve your goals?
So who helps you achieve your workplace goals? Look further than the obvious choices. For example, it’s easy to identify the senior level manager as a target to work up a great relationship with, and the benefits can be obvious, but what about their network? What about the colleagues who they rely on for ideas, help and feedback on work? By creating a network of colleagues who are influential to senior management, you’re opening yourself up to being on their radar through your networks, and that is just as valuable as having a direct relationship with the senior level manager.
who do you relate to?
Now, look closer to home. Who in your teams or within the office generally reflect the same values and beliefs that you hold? Do they have the same interests and work-rate you have? Building workplace relationships with these types of people will help you become a better person within the workplace. They say you’re the average of your friendship group, so creating that core network of hard-working, friendly and trustworthy colleagues will help you grow.
what are your weaknesses?
A bit of an odd question right? If you can work out where you need to develop, you can identify those around you who have those skills and build up a relationship with them. By creating this working relationship, you expose yourself to the aspiring traits of your colleague and will naturally learn from them and implement your acquired personal skills into your everyday life. This in itself is a powerful skill to have, when working out whom to build a working relationship with. Alternatively, you don’t need to mirror anyone, but by being closer to them, you can identify ways in which you can work to improve the skills you lack that they have.
Nothing beats a great workplace friendship. The truth is, if we don’t get along with our peers, a workplace becomes a very unhappy one. No-one wants that! Take note of who you ‘bounce off’, who do you work well with, but can also socialise with. These are the guys who will lend an ear when you need them too, give you a necessary emotional pick-me-up and look out for your best interests, especially when you’re not around. Having working relationships with those who you can trust, or who know they can trust in you is a critical must within the workplace.
Now, these may not be relationships that have career benefits, but these are the types of working relationships that will help you to stay emotionally happy and productive in the workplace.
talk the talk
Communication in the workplace almost seems like a fun past time, what with digital messaging and collaborative tools, but what happened to going to someone and talking? By talking to someone face-to-face, you open up so many avenues to identify likes, dislikes, interests or pet hates. You can easily work out if this is the right connection for you at work, and determine how you need to interact with them.
Also, there’s always training in building relationships with your work colleagues, and if that tickles your learning taste buds, check out our personal development courses to help you grow your presence and career within your workplace.