5 Ways to Improve Relationships With Your Co-Workers
You don’t have to be best friends with your colleagues—in fact, many HR professionals say you shouldn’t be. But maintaining strong relationships at work is important because it can increase job satisfaction and productivity and lead to greater professional success.
“Our work relationships give us two valuable things: social support and access to information. And research shows it’s the combination that can make us happier and more successful,” Mark Rivera, an organizational behavior researcher and collaboration expert, said in a TED presentation.1
If your professional relationships could use a boost, consider these five ideas for building stronger bonds.
Would you like to work more cohesively with just one co-worker, or several? You may want to start by focusing on improving the professional relationship that is most crucial to you. Assess the current state of your work relationship and review the past. If the two of you started off strong, try to identify what has changed. Addressing those issues can be the place to start.
But what if you don’t know why a once-strong work relationship has weakened? Each situation is different, but talking to your co-worker may help. Communication can build or break business relationships,2 so improving this leadership skill can have lasting benefits. You might want to ask your supervisor or HR manager to facilitate the conversation.
You and a co-worker may differ over developing a policy or tackling a project. Reasonable people should be able to agree to disagree on business matters. An open airing of ideas can go a long way toward helping co-workers feel heard and respected. Ultimately, you or the appropriate person will make the final decision. But encouraging input builds trust, and that improves relationships.
If your outlook leans toward the negative, an attitude adjustment may improve work relationships. Research published in The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Positivity and Strengths-Based Approaches at Work found that positivity can help build stronger bonds.2 It says that “positive emotions … facilitate collaboration, reduce conflict, raise resilience,”2 and more. There’s no need to be falsely cheerful or sugarcoat a tough issue. But a more positive professional approach may help improve your relationships.
Managers can do their part by finding ways to unite people. “Make it a little bit easier for people to belong to something,” Rivera said in his TED presentation. During a weeklong onboarding process, Rivera said he assigned employees to one of five groups. Each group had a different color T-shirt. This visual cue helped workers find other people in their group and connect with them through activities they shared. “Even things like swag, T-shirts, and project code names can go a long way towards creating a sense of belonging,” he said.1
Earn a Business Degree Online
If you want to develop skills you can use in your current career or in a new professional field, Walden University’s online BS in Business Administration degree program may be a good option.
Walden’s BS in Business Administration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business School and Programs (ACBSP). When you enroll in this degree program, you can choose a General Program or one of eight concentrations. These relevant focus areas include Small Business Management, Information Systems, and Marketing.
If you’ve earned a BS degree and are ready for a master’s, you can build business acumen in Walden’s ACBSP-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Choose the General Program or a Healthcare Management or Human Resource Management specialization. There’s also a Self-Designed option that lets you customize your online MBA degree program to your career goals.
Walden offers its online MBA without a GMAT, basing admission on your professional and academic experience. And Walden’s flexible online learning format means you can earn your bachelor’s in business or an MBA while staying fully engaged in your personal and professional activities.
You can further customize your MBA or BS in Business Administration degree program by choosing one of these completion options:
- Course-based learning: You pay by the course, follow preset deadlines, and are guided through each course by a faculty member.
- Tempo Learning®: You move at your own pace and receive faculty and coach support when you need it. With competency-based learning, you pay in three-month, all-you-can-learn subscription periods.
So, what are your goals and aspirations? If you want to strengthen job skills or advance your career, earning a BS in Business Administration or MBA online can prepare you for the future you want.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online BS in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MS in Accounting and BS in Accounting programs are also accredited by the ACBSP and have earned the organization’s separate accounting accreditation.
Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.
Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.