By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
I remember when I was a new employee starting in the corporate world. I was a newbie in so many ways! I didn't know the political landscape of what to do and not to do, and I didn’t see the value in establishing relationships with my colleagues. So, I’d do my job, eat lunch at my desk, and didn’t go for happy hours with my co-workers. I missed out on a lot at the beginning of my career!
Now I understand the value of how important it is to build meaningful relationships with co-workers. Doing so creates a foundation for winning teams. According to a Gallup poll, organizations with good employee engagement have 41% fewer quality defects, 37% less absenteeism, and a 21% increase in productivity.
So, what are some key things you can do to improve your relationships with your colleagues and those you lead? Here are some practical tips:
1. Be Intentional About Developing Relationships
Investing in meaningful relationships can be game-changing for you and those you connect with. Develop an inner circle of trusted peers with whom you can freely share what's going on with your employees or, if appropriate, even your personal life. Make time in your calendar to meet with your team, peers, and others with whom you can mutually benefit each other.
2. Regularly Express Appreciation and Encouragement
Give kudos to employees who go above and beyond what you expect from them. Send them thank-you notes and let others on the team know about their excellent performance.
Also, keep an eye out for those employees who show potential but haven't stepped into that potential yet. Let them know you see that potential in them and call it forth. You may find your next star employee by doing so!
3. Be More Accepting of Your Team Members and Colleagues
Leaders and managers who accept their employees for who they are can reap so many benefits. When employees feel accepted, they feel freer to be themselves. When that happens, the synergy of acceptance among team members can improve teamwork and productivity.
Also, practice accepting your employees, peers, and colleagues, even if they irritate you. It's possible that your source of irritation could be something you don't like about yourself that you see in them. A great practice is to embrace those similar quirks you have, which can help you be more accepting of others.
Did you like this blog? If so, check back during the coming weeks. I plan to share 7 Essential Skills for Leaders to Embrace. This blog on Relationship Building is the first of seven. I'll also cover topics such as Resilence, Conflict Management, and Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone. So stay tuned!
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