Employee relationships within the business are highly important. If staff members don’t get on with their peers, it can cause friction within the workplace. That friction can turn into a tense atmosphere that both employees and others have to endure on a daily basis.
The result of broken or bad peer relationships can be a lack of productivity in the workplace. Not only that but creating such a distasteful atmosphere in the workplace can result in further problems whereby some employees may feel forced to leave.
The importance of peer relationships in the workplace
Peer relationships are important to have in the workplace. A strong connection can equal great communications, which is beneficial in keeping everyone on the same page.
Not only that but having good relationships between colleagues can help benefit the working environment too. It can help those employees who may be going through a bad day or week, by having work colleagues who are there to support them.
With 70% of employees saying having friends at their job is the most crucial element to a happy working life, it’s a focus that any business needs to work on harnessing and encouraging employees to do more of.
10 helpful tips to build peer relationships within the workplace
Whether it’s a new employee to the business or a long-standing employee, how can they enhance their own peer relationships? Perhaps there’s an opportunity to build them with certain individuals within the workplace. Here are ten helpful tips to build peer relationships so that more employees can benefit from strong foundations between colleagues.
1 – Be respectful of a peer’s time.
Firstly, be aware of a peer’s time. Everyone operates a little differently when it comes to the working day or week. Some have less time than others available to spare for communication with other employees.
When building a relationship, it’s always good to get a perspective on how busy a person might be and where it’s possible to take up some of the spare time available.
It can be difficult to build a relationship with no communication, so it might be that it’s possible to achieve this through emails, to begin with. This may be useful if the colleague is often away from their desk or out on visits to other places outside of the office.
Know when to step back though and allow them the space they need to get their own work done.
2 – Be cautious with what is shared on social media.
When it comes to social media, it can often be a vessel to share one’s opinion or vent. This can be the case when it comes to those who may be at work and want to vent or express their thoughts on work to those who follow them.
At the same time, expressing opinions on certain topics of conversation may also rub some peers up the wrong way. It’s important to be aware of what is posted on social media, keeping any personal opinions off social media where possible.
This will help build relationships with other peers not having pre-conceived ideas of what a person is like simply from what they post on their personal social media feeds.
3 – Take advantage of any peer recognition system in place.
What is peer recognition? With peer relationships, it’s important to take advantage of an opportunity to celebrate their successes. However great or small their achievements, a peer recognition system that’s put in place by the business, can celebrate those successes.
As a peer, it can be a great chance to share love and support with colleagues that one may be interested in building relationships. If there’s a current peer recognition system in place, be sure to find ways of giving back to peers that are perhaps unappreciated at times and could do with a pick-me-up.
4 – Offer and receive constructive feedback.
Not everyone enjoys receiving constructive feedback but it’s something that can really help an individual grow within their role.
We all need to be able to take constructive feedback and opinions on the chin. It doesn’t mean that all of it needs to be taken on board, some of it can simply be ignored.
However, when it comes to building peer relationships, offering and receiving constructive feedback is important. Try to provide this to peers where possible and be willing to accept it from them when it’s required.
5 – Treat everyone as an equal, regardless of position.
Regardless of someone’s position within the company, it’s important to treat everyone as an equal. Time and time again, companies can create a hierarchy that presents authority but that can also come with additional ego boosting.
Some employees may end up feeling like they’re more important and should be given more liberties when it comes to how they treat others within the workplace. Ultimately though, that doesn’t bode well for bringing together work relationships between peers.
With that being said, treat everyone as equal and remember that those we are rude or nasty to on the way up, will allow you to fall back down without a helping hand.
6 – Swallow pride by taking responsibility for mistakes.
Mistakes happen – it’s a part of life. When it comes to mistakes though, very few are able to swallow their pride and accept responsibility.
When improving upon peer relationships, it’s important to notice when responsibility needs to be taken and not to allow others to take the flack for it.
This is never going to earn the person in question any favors and neither will it for the personal career path.
7 – Don’t take workplace bullying. Report it.
Workplace bullying shouldn’t happen, yet it’s something that does happen fairly frequently. With that said, we can all do our bit to stomp out this bullying and report it whenever it’s happening.
Building those peer relationships relies on trust and doing what’s right, even if it’s going to affect another peer relationship. Employees who are bullying in the workplace, need to be made an example of.
8 – Listen – don’t just talk, talk, talk.
It can be hard for us to listen but very easy for us to talk when it comes to communicating with others. However, there can be a lot learned from building peer relationships by simply listening to what they’re talking about and not interrupting every five seconds.
9 – Follow through on promises made.
Many peer relationships can benefit from having the back of another colleague at times. Whether it’s personal or professional, think about how often one follows through on promises that have been made previously.
A lack of fulfillment when it comes to promising something to a peer can lead to a lack of trust. With that being said, only promise on what can be fulfilled in the first place. Don’t give false hope to anyone whereby the relationship could be impacted if it’s not followed through with successfully.
10 – Manage boundaries.
Every peer relationship is different from the next. Some will have more flexible boundaries, whereas others may have tighter boundaries in place for their own sake. Be respectful of boundaries when it comes to work relationships and establish one’s own too.
Any relationship needs these boundaries in order to keep both people in the work relationship, happy and comfortable. Pushing past these boundaries or not respecting them is likely to ruin a relationship that’s been built.
Focus on building peer relationships in business
Building peer relationships within the workplace is important, so use these tips to help build those relationships this year and beyond.