Most of us are incapable of “going alone”. Whether it is our careers or our personal relationships. In life, we all need others if we are to achieve the level of success we desire. Besides, what’s the point of having it all if we have no one we care about to share our success with? You may choose to work with others, you may ignore them, or you may choose to work against them, but the greatest successes in life come to those who work harmoniously with others. When your personal goals coincide with those of others, not only does the power of your combined labours benefit you, but such cooperation also creates a synergistic effect that allows you to achieve far more than the simple sum of your individual efforts (i.e. 1 + 1 = 3).
It is a known fact that many full-time employees spend more of their waking hours with co-workers than they do with their spouses and families. As such, it is important for employees to build quality relationships with their co-workers. Quality relationships in the workplace produces a number of benefits to the individual and the organization. Some of these benefits are discussed below.
Improvement of Teamwork and Collaboration
To a large extent, when people know one another well, they are much more likely to work well together; all things being equal. Observe or watch teams who have a new member; typically, that new member will remain somewhat isolated until everyone else gets to know him/her. If you have several employees who are barely on speaking terms and you throw them together into a project, it will take some time for them to break the ice and begin to work well together. Conversely, team members who already know, like and respect one another may be more willing to collaborate for the betterment of the project.
Improved Employee Morale
Given how much time employees spend in one another’s presence, the development of good relationships in the workplace can increase employee morale. Co-workers become friendly and look forward to spending time with one another while they do their jobs. This may also make work more fun for these employees with the end result not only being a more positive workplace but also improved overall morale. The reverse is true, that a stiff and unfriendly work environment will have the opposite effect.
Higher Employee Retention Rates
When employees feel connected to a company, whether it is because they share the same vision as the company leaders or they feel as though their fellow co-workers have become like family, they will be much less likely to want to seek employment at another company. Friendships take time to build, especially quality friendships, and the prospect of having to start all over may help convince some employees to stay right where they are.
Increased Employee Productivity
All of these elements add up to one common result: happy employees are happy workers. In other words, happy employees are naturally more productive; all other things being equal. Overall, while we may have some issues with employees becoming too friendly and wasting time together, a happy and well-adjusted and a professionally supervised workforce is a productive one. By feeling more connected to their place of employment, workers naturally want to try harder to help keep the company going and to help it grow.
In view of the foregoing, CILG encourages its members to build and maintain quality working relationship in the workplace since they stand the chance of getting supports and learning from one another.
Mr Ibrahim Alhassan, FCILG
The author is the Editor of the Chartered Institute of Leadership and Governance-Ghana. He is
also the Northern Regional Director of the Institute. He is an Editorial Board Member of a number of journals including the European Journal of Educational Sciences and has review several articles.
The author currently works as a data analyst in the Planning and Research Unit of the University
for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.