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Healthy workplace relationships are key to creating a friendly, welcoming and productive environment for colleagues. Managers and HR professionals can take a number of steps to encourage good relations, eliminate workplace bullying and create a culture of openness and communication among employees.
A report by The Myers-Briggs Company based on a survey of 10,000 employees in 131 countries found that having caring, supportive workplace relationships was consistently ranked as the most important contributor towards workplace wellbeing. It came out on top regardless of gender, personality type and geographic location. This highlights just how vital relationships are to wellbeing.
Positive, healthy workplace relationships create a positive, healthy workplace. They can improve productivity, increase engagement and reduce stress and anxiety. By ensuring colleagues enjoy working with each, you can create a workplace that people genuinely enjoying being part of, thereby significantly increasing employee retention rates.
Strong relationships build a workplace culture that emphasises loyalty, engagement and trust, which in turn fosters teamwork, creativity and productivity. Conversely, it de-emphasises competition between employees, which helps to reduce loneliness and increase collaboration. All this also means colleagues can feel more comfortable talking to one another about any challenges they’re currently facing, including workplace stress and anxiety.
Workplace relationships can also provide another avenue for mental health support. Often, people find it easier to speak to someone who isn’t their manager about wellbeing issues they may be facing. Workplaces can leverage strong inter-colleague relationships to create “buddy” systems, peer support groups and mentoring networks, allowing employees to support each other outside of managerial structures. Mentoring is especially useful for new colleagues wishing to better understand an organisation and develop the skills and knowledge they need to fit in.
You can also promote social activities such as charity walks, seasonal parties, “pub quizzes” and the like that give colleagues the chance to bond outside of the work environment, as well as educational and developmental sessions and events. In this way, you can also enhance your efforts to encourage positive behaviours and support teamwork and collaboration. This helps create that necessary supportive environment.
You may find even better results if you’re hosting teambuilding exercises, social events and team meals across departments, rather than simply between individual teams. This might help create a more integrated workplace that feels less separated and isolated, in turn increasing loyalty to the organisation as a whole.
To promote wellbeing best practice and discover new strategies for improving workplace cohesion, get your free ticket to Workplace Wellbeing Show 2020. Taking place on 8-10 September at ExCeL London, this show offers seminars and presentations on key wellbeing trends and strategies, and hosts suppliers of leading wellbeing solutions to help you improve workplace wellbeing.