We’re witnessing a tremendous shift – a shift in how employees are beginning to value and understand the importance of building better work relationships. The concept of having a meaningful career has moved beyond the focus of just being satisfied with your work. Employees are now valuing better work relationships as an integral part of the overall work environment.
Workplace relationships are personal connections among employees who work together. Research shows that social connections play a pivotal role in fostering a sense of direction and well-being in the workplace. From an organizational standpoint, this means that wiser investment strategies in social capital will allow innovation, generate ideas, encourage learning, increase employee retention, reduce burnout, and improve overall performance.
In this article, we discuss the importance of building better relationships and focus on how this can be beneficial for employee well-being.
Why should every organization thrive towards attaining better work relationships?
Here’s why building better work relationships can prove positive for organizations and employees:
Opens channels of communication
Strong communication plays a vital role in the efficiency and overall success of a company. Open communication enables a free flow of ideas, suggestions, questions, solutions, and feedback. Regular updates and progress information shared by supervisors and managers help create a sense of belonging and responsibility among team members.
This strategy ensures that team players receive maximum information regarding objectives, timelines, and progress. It also helps foster a positive manager/team player relationship; whereby efficient work tactics are promoted through an open feedback approach.
Enables a goal-driven approach
Work teams serve as the backbone of an organization’s work structure. Research shows that it is easier to form performance-driven groups among employees with better work relationships. High-performing teams are made up of a group of goal-driven and focused individuals with specialized expertise who discuss, brainstorm, collaborate, and produce positive results.
These teams work relentlessly in pursuit of shared goals due to open communication, clearer guidance, better understanding, a sense of oneness, a prevalence of trust, and respect for one another. So basically, the best-performing teams aren’t the ones slogging it out but on the contrary, these are people with better work relationships who invest in personal connections which yield closer friendships and encourage team play.
Promotes individual and team productivity
A positive working environment is critical to individual and/or team productivity. An organizational culture that continuously promotes better work relationships where employees share a friendlier and closer connection with their colleagues will always enjoy the benefits of higher productivity levels.
People who enjoy working with their co-workers tend to thrive harder and put more effort into their job activities. These are people who work well in teams. The existence of personal connections among workers allows them to easily collaborate, cooperate, consider, and overcome challenges. In such situations, resources and talents can be rotated and shared between departments, hence, improving overall productivity.
How does building better work relationships boost employee well-being?
Employee well-being refers to how the employees’ overall health and happiness are affected by the job. How they understand their responsibilities, manage expectations, handle stress, and adapt to the working environment.
The level of employee well-being now plays an integral role in increasing the business benefits of an organization. Here are ways how employees can benefit from positive work relationships:
Fosters a sense of belonging
An organization that strives to develop strategies that promote a work culture that supports positive relationships and connections has a high chance of achieving greater levels of employee well-being. Research shows that better work relationships are associated with lower psychological distress. Workers who enjoy positive connections with colleagues at their workplace tend to feel more accepted and possess a higher sense of responsibility towards their job role.
Boosts morale and brings happiness
The quality of workplace friendships is a game changer! Studies reveal that personal relationships have a powerful impact on health and well-being. Social connections play a positive role in bringing happiness and improving physical health and well-being.
With remote work on the rise, organizations must open channels of communication and allow employee interaction and collaboration. By increasing the opportunities for social connection and creating an accepting atmosphere, companies can benefit from increased morale in the workplace.
Increases job satisfaction
The findings of a detailed report studying the effects of stress on psychological well-being and job satisfaction revealed that irrespective of the level of stress, the availability of supervisor support had the main effects on the levels of employee well-being. Some evidence also suggests that the availability of work-related support acts as a buffer against the negative impact caused by work-related stress, hence increasing job satisfaction among employees.
Enhances skills and knowledge
A work environment that promotes friendly social interaction will witness a successful transfer of knowledge and productivity spillover between senior, mid-tiered, and junior workers. Collaborative team settings open opportunities for less experienced workers to enhance their technical knowledge and improve job-related skills. Over the years, it has been found that workplace productivity improved when employees were assigned to work with more skilled and knowledgeable colleagues (Mas & Moretti, 2009).
Increases retention rates
A workplace that promotes healthy social connections and better work relationships will experience fewer turnover numbers and better recruitment outcomes. Employees who have formed friendlier ties with coworkers and expressed satisfaction with their work environment tend to remain attached to their employment for a longer period.
Better work relationships; better employee well-being:
The workplace environment comprises a mix of diverse individuals. Under most circumstances, few workers would make a conscious effort to engage in friendly meetings or indulge in social interactions outside the workplace. With changing trends, we are also witnessing a shift towards more remote work opportunities opening for workers globally. Having said this, organizations are now tasked with the responsibility to foster better work relationships and encourage positive interactions.
Well-being is enhanced through better work relationships. When working interactions are collaborative, positive, and trusting, employees feel more valued and respected (Mastroianni & Storberg-Walker, 2014). Positive social interactions can improve coworker awareness, foster emotions such as compassion and empathy, and create an engaging experience of trust and respect between individuals (Rosales, 2016). This in turn can serve as a source of collective business growth.