Many of us take for granted things that matter the most. We neglect or overlook the value of our relationships and their impact on our lives. All relationships matter, whether we're talking about personal or professional ones. Humans are social beings and are wired for connections. We're happier, healthier, and more productive in the workplace when we have good relationships. Healthy relationships even extend our longevity and reduce our overall stress level. It is my personal belief that there is nothing more important than our relationships. Success, wealth, status, popularity, and material possessions come and go, but healthy and committed relationships can last a lifetime. Even in the business world relationships matter since effective leaders create and develop trust, motivation, and commitment through relationships which are fundamental to success. Some might even say that business relationships matter as much as the products and services of a company. So how do we build these relationships?
Business relationships thrive on respectful and direct communication with an emphasis on listening rather than talking. Success comes from making a difference in people's lives and helping them be their best. As John Maxwell puts it, "people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." Studies have shown that employees who experience meaning at work stick around longer and have increased productivity, performance, and engagement. People are inspired by knowing what they do matters and are not only driven by money. When we acknowledge employees' contributions and value, this spurs in them a greater desire to excel. People also want to work for and do business with others who they like and respect. Engaging in conversation about matters outside of business on occasion is also important to building relationship connection. When we learn more about someone's family and interests, we create a culture of unity and teamwork, as long as we have a healthy balance of sharing.
Successful organizations build workplace relationships through consistent communication and through commonalities between people. The goal is for the team to develop a sense of cohesiveness and trust through common goals and objectives. Good leaders model and encourage wellness and self-care for their staff. They show gratitude and appreciation for others even with something as simple as a smile or an encouraging word. Leaders need to invest in face-to-face interactions more consistently and value input from their staff. People respond favorably when their efforts mean something and are noticed by others. Create a culture of positivity, inclusiveness, and belonging through transparency and compassion for others. Decide today to make building relationships the core of the workplace.