From offices and outdoors, to transport and teaching, no two workplaces are the same – but they are all filled with people. Establishing, maintaining and improving relationships with your co-workers at work is critical if you (and they) are to reach full potential.
As well as creating a productive workplace, good relationships help prevent stressful situations from arising. Additionally, keeping things nice won’t go unnoticed by your boss, and could make that long-awaited promotion happen a whole lot faster.
Use these five winning strategies to improve work relationships and promotion prospects:
1. Collaborate for the Greater Good
Building good work relationships begins with you. Are you the type of person who willingly collaborates with others? Or are you more inclined to micro-manage? Collaboration isn’t just a matter of ‘two minds are better than one’. The sense of inclusiveness that others feel when asked to help solve a problem is in itself an indication of trust. Anybody who knows they are trusted is more likely to go ‘the extra mile’ to help achieve a good result. Be a team player.
2. Communicate Face-to-Face
Devote at least some time every day to building your work relationships, and don’t be afraid to step away from your computer to do so. Responding promptly to emails doesn’t necessarily build relationships, but it is good manners. Go and speak to your colleagues face-to-face, even if only for five minutes. Go for a coffee with them. Get up to speed on your LinkedIn page, and check your Twitter feed for job-related news. A personal invitation from an important somebody that can help your career won’t be much help if you don’t respond.
3. Appreciate Good Work
Sadly, there’s a school of thought that if you don’t hear from the boss, that means you’re doing your job well.Which may be true, but there are very few people in the workplace that don’t appreciate a compliment about a job well done. You can make a big difference when you reinforce a person’s sense of self-worth and value to the workplace. A happy worker is a worker who’s prepared to do even better if they know their work is appreciated.
4. Educate Yourself – about Everything!
Learning about your workplace is one thing but gathering the skills to promote yourself through the organisation is another. Ask your boss what educational requirements might best position you for promotion in future. Most business leaders appreciate employees who show a willingness to better themselves, particularly by undertaking online courses, diploma or attending seminars specifically related to their core business. Keeping up with technology is a given but it is also important to make sure you’re across what’s happening in your industry.
5. Demonstrate what you Expect from Others
Enthusiasm is infectious and giving 100% effort to every assignment or project will get the best result. The boss will also certainly notice! Stay away from office politics, and instead use that wasted time by making yourself indispensable. Be creative, effective and willing to work independently when required. Understand what your boss is looking for, and tailor your approach to ensure you help achieve their goals. Never think that near enough is good enough, instead strive to over deliver.
Keep a Positive Workplace Perspective
In any industry, your performance will be judged largely on your results. Ensuring those results are more than what others expect of you is the key to professional development and advancement. Improving work relationships makes that path so much easier to traverse. Beyond any financial pay off that will come from promotion, the positivity you help create will make you look forward to being at work. Remember that if you love your job, you’ll never actually ‘work’ a day in your life.