One of the most common reasons people stay at a job is their relationship with their coworkers. While I cannot exactly relate to this, I can easily name 5 friends who would raise their hands in agreement. Residing in a stressful and competitive country, work is a big part of our lives and we easily clock 12-14 hours on a daily basis.
Good relationships with your colleagues builds a strong support system that feeds us (emotional) benefits that can sometimes be as powerful as family support. On the flip side, loneliness eventually leads to demotivation, resulting in poor work performance. However, before you start to create such relationships, there are several rules to follow:
Don’t expect these relationships to be built to last
As the famous saying goes “change is the only constant in life”. When you bond with colleagues, do not expect that they will never leave the organization just because you never will. Like you, they are hired to do a job and it’s a matter of time that they will eventually change a department, or even move out of the organization. If a lasting relationship does come out of it, it’s a bonus.
Stay emotionally neutral
Remember that work is work – don’t take it personally. When your colleague gives you constructive feedback, listen with an open mind and be humble enough to accept that you, like everyone else, is human and we are imperfect. And remember that it works both ways.
Be honest and poke into (some) details
What builds strong work relationships is authenticity. Be who you are and care for your colleagues on a personal level outside of work. You want to be asking how their weekend went, sending regards when you know their child was sick, etc. Do make sure you don’t end up prying too much into their personal life as not everyone is comfortable telling you about their diarrhea episode – not the best example but you know what I mean!
Ensure you use “protection”
A study has shown that employees who experience frustration over poor work relationships tend to have their negative emotions spill over into their relationships at home. Be sure to address any conflicts are addressed quickly and professionally. Very often, conflicts are left unresolved and the next time an incident occurs, people jump to conclusions. As they always say, prevention is better than cure.
Know when to end it
When bad relationships in the office is causing you to dread coming to work, it’s a sign to call it quits. Of course, you cannot force someone else to quit but care for your well-being enough to know that such an environment is not healthy for you and there is definitely somewhere else that deserves you.
As an entrepreneur, I highly encourage managers and leaders to invest in employee engagement as you will achieve a way higher success rate when you successfully embed this into your team culture. This is something that we are currently building and I would be happy to bounce off ideas with anyone interested in this area. Good luck!