Low Res Wp 160816 109 1100x733

8 Ways to Build Relationships at Work

10/04/2017BY: Tracey Mesken

​When considering how much of the working week is spent with colleagues, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest causes of work-related stress is poor relationships.

Taking steps to actively build rapport with work colleagues helps contribute to a harmonious work environment.

Just like your personal relationships, nurturing healthy connections at work requires some consideration and effort. Here are eight everyday actions that can help.

1. Be considerate of work spaces

Observe how your colleagues work and be mindful, particularly when you have to share a space. You may enjoy background music but others may like to work in silence. Or perhaps reconsider your loud ring tone if you see the person sitting near you start to twitch every time you get a call.

2. Always respond

Acknowledge calls or emails from colleagues as much as you can, even if you are too busy to properly respond at the time. It doesn’t take much effort and is the polite thing to do. Talking face to face always helps strengthen a connection, so occasionally take the opportunity get away from behind your emails and respond directly or over the phone.

3. Respect other people's time

Everyone is trying to juggle multiple priorities, so when asking for help with something, don’t blind side a colleague with unrealistic demands or timeframes. A genuine “thank you” is always appreciated so be sure to say it when due.

4. Avoid the blame game

If a project runs into a problem or a deadline isn’t met, resist the urge to blame someone outright. Passing the buck or singling someone out will alienate colleagues and won’t make you seem like a team player.

5. Keep to your commitments

Quite simply, if you say you’re going to do something, do it when you say you will. Set and deliver on expectations and communicate openly and in a timely manner if there are going to be delays. Don’t make people chase you for updates or results.

6. Celebrate the success of your coworkers

How good do you feel when someone acknowledges your work or achievements? Do the same for your colleagues, no matter how big or small.

7. Don’t let emotions get in the way

When you aren’t getting the results you need from a colleague, think before banging out a huffy email, CCing (or worse BCCing) in their manager and half the company along with them. A public email beating is a sure fire way to permanently damage relationships fast so be direct but courteous and keep emotions at bay. Use phone or face to face meetings for robust conversations to ensure nothing is lost in translation over email.

8. Have a laugh

It is easier to work with and navigate through issues with someone you can share a laugh and relax with. When your workload allows it, go to lunch with colleagues or take five minutes in your day to have an informal chat and connect over non-work related things.

The saying “treat others the way you want to be treated” couldn’t ring more true in a workplace. By simply being respectful and having a positive attitude towards your colleagues, you can strengthen your relationships and contribute to a supportive work environment.