7 Ways to Create a Friendly Environment at Work
People who like each other work better together.
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Let's face it, whether we mainly hire freelance help or manage a large office staff, we all have to work with people. Your company will run like a well-oiled machine if you learn to create positive relationships with your colleagues and co-workers.
Here are seven tips that will help develop great relationships at work.
1. Develop a positive attitude.
When you own your own company, your co-workers and employees look to you to set the tone for the business and the office environment. A positive attitude is key to an enjoyable, more comfortable workplace. A positive or negative attitude also spills over into how your customers perceive your business, which translates into their willingness to do business with you. They can tell when everything is clicking, and they can also tell when things are amiss.
2. Treat everyone with respect.
Everyone you work with deserves respect in the workplace, even when you differ on opinions. Look at each and every person as a vital member of the team. Respect that they have different opinions and ways of looking at the world. This respect will go a long way in developing the trust and teamwork that will take your business to the top.
Related: To Boost Your Business Treat Employees as Well as Your Customers
3. Practice active listening.
Effective communication begins with active listening. Encourage your co-workers to share their thoughts and be open to hearing them all the way through without interrupting or interjecting your own opinions. To foster an environment where everyone feels they have a voice, make your approach "yes, that's a possibility" rather than "no, that would never work.".
4. Connect on a personal level.
Develop meaningful bonds with your fellow workers. Exchange ideas and personal opinions. Show your empathy and concern for their well being as people, as well as co-workers. Take time to learn about their families and their goals. When you show a genuine interest in others, you foster a happier workplace.
5. Develop relationships outside of work.
Go to lunch with your co-workers or plan an off-site event like a bowling night or a day at the ballpark. Get to know each other outside of the office. You'll be pleasantly surprised to learn more about what makes them tick and you'll develop even stronger bonds when you discover you have shared interests.
Related: The Hidden Benefits of Happy Co-Workers (Infographic)
6. Work together for a larger good.
Most people feel good when they're helping others. Take on a charity campaign and encourage your co-workers to participate in fundraising events, a charity race or a Habitat for Humanity project. You will build trust and form a bond when you share common goals and activities for the good of others. Post regular reports around the office or in your newsletter. Recognize everyone for their hard work and dedication.
7. Say thank you.
There are all sorts of ways to provide rewards, including praise, recognition, money, prizes, gift cards, celebratory meals, trophies and certificates of achievement. Be liberal with positive feedback and show gratitude when employees go above and beyond their normal duties and responsibilities.
Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated for what they do everyday. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Offer respect, kindness, openness, caring and trust and you will be sure to reap the returns many times over.