How to ensure your small business work environment has strong employee relationships for a more productive and enjoyable workplace
By the time retirement comes around, American adults have spent more of their waking hours at work than almost anyplace else. This means that the people with whom you spend the most time are your coworkers. If your relationships with your coworkers aren’t pleasant, you’ll be spending much of your life surrounded by negative feelings.
With 60% of employees never receiving basic conflict management classes, the amount of people in rocky relationships with coworkers is too high. Know these strategies for creating good relationships with coworkers and you can enjoy your workplace.
Show genuine care for others
While many people opt to keep their work life and personal life resolutely separate, demonstrating that you truly care for others is never a bad thing. When you show genuine interest in what a coworker is telling you or check in with them after they share something with you, you’re demonstrating that you care about them as a person and not just as someone who you have to talk to. If you’re in conflict with someone, sharing meaningful and sympathetic words can show that you understand the situation.
Embrace any conflict as inevitable and healthy
You’re not going to get along perfectly with everyone in the office, and that’s okay. People have different opinions and ideas, so disagreements are going to come out. In truth, any small business, of which there are almost 28 million in the United States, grows from having a multitude of voices with differing opinions. Deal with conflicts respectfully, and you’ll make it through just fine.
Respect differences in personality
In a similar vein to expecting conflict, you need to expect that there are going to be a variety of different personalities at your workplace. While you may love catching up with your coworkers after the weekend, some may be more introverted and give one-word answers to your questions. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like you, just that they have a different personality. Try adjusting your way of communication to build relationships with your coworkers, like turning to instant messaging or talking about subjects with which they’re comfortable.
To spice up a dull day at work, many people turn to gossiping about the personal lives of other coworkers. While it may seem harmless, this is a surefire way to brand yourself as the office gossip and create conflict that is going to make your workplace uncomfortable. If you’re known for spreading around the personal details of others’ lives, you’ll end up with no one trusting you or respecting you as a coworker.
Think of someone who reached out to you
If you’re having trouble finding motivation to connect with your coworkers or are in conflict with one of them, try recalling the time that someone at work did something nice for you. Whether they helped you with your workload or lent an ear for you to vent to, their kindness made an impression on you. Try to replicate that kindness in your current interactions and know that you’re giving someone a feeling of belonging when you do.
You should feel as comfortable in your place of work as you do in your own home, and a major part of that comfort lies in the ease of your interpersonal relationships. Use these strategies to craft positive relationships with your coworkers and you’ll soon feel at home with them.
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