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5 Ways to Create Friendships Among Co-Workers

Can't we all just get along?

29Jan

Americans seem to be spending more and more time in the work setting. It is becoming more important for employees, managers and business owners to have employees who work well together. Building more meaningful and enduring relations among employees leads to a kind of emotional sharing which in turn strengthens pride in accomplishment and more motivation. Employees are also more likely to stay with a company when they feel valued and get along well with the other workers. Managers and business owners can depend on their employees to be efficient and dependable workers when they share a bond, achieve goals and master skills as a group effort. Leadership training courses are beneficial to business owners and managers in teaching them to set up programs to help employees form positive relations with each other. Following is a discussion of five ways to establish employee bonding and friendship.

1. Establish opportunities for shared time together

Managers and department heads can provide opportunities for employees to get together for a meal, a holiday event or volunteer activity. Most employees feel more a part of the team, more valued and achieve higher self-esteem. It’s best to let the occasion prompt social engagement and not have a highly structured event. These social events are a good time to engage in casual conversation and find out what common interests one has with other employees. This is a great way to establish deeper friendships.

2. Leadership training to facilitate peer feedback

It is generally recognized that a leadership training program that enables peer feedback works well to promote motivation and positive attitudes among employees. Team members and managers should consistently encourage workers to applaud one another and give positive feedback to management. A simple compliment accompanied with a smile can do wonders for almost anyone. This process can be streamlined by regularly sending out a checklist with questions like 'Who helped you out with a problem this week?'

3. Improve collaboration

When some workers are team members but spend most of their time working by themselves, employee relations and successful outcomes suffer. Managers need to see that those who are working in isolation are brought back into the fold. Surveys have shown that collaboration is beneficial. Managers need to make sure that collaboration efforts remain organized and that all team members know the progress of the team projects. The sharing of knowledge and collaborative work can improve the outcome of these projects. This can be done by using email, written checklist or other communication devices. It’s important to take note of what kind of communication methods employees respond best to. Encouraging feedback from employees is an important part of the collaborative process.

4. Encourage common courtesy and respect

Managers as well as employees need to show courtesy and respect by greeting each other with a friendly 'hi' and a smile. Calling people by their name and using eye contact when approaching a co-worker fosters positive relationships and friendship. Be thoughtful by cleaning the break room after yourself and respecting your co-worker’s time. Refrain from complaining about your work at the workplace. This applies to managers also. Expressing negative comments about the company can result in this information spreading throughout the company and often becomes distorted.

5. Guidelines for encouraging friendship at work

Business owners and managers mostly agree that friendship among employees translates into a happier work team that works well together and produces better results for the company. Sharing conversations and occasional joking around with others during times of challenging work assignments makes it easier to get through the difficult times.

With better work relationships, employees can be more motivated to do great work. 

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