How to Encourage Healthy Working Relationships

Office Relationships

Image by Guy F. Wicke

If you want your employees to be truly enthusiastic about coming in to work every day, you should definitely attempt to foster a strong sense of community amongst them. You want to encourage people to get along, to work together well, and to build up a sense of trust and understanding both in and out of the workplace – such strengths can go a long way in improving work rate and general employee satisfaction. However, you don’t want to do so at the expense of professionalism in the workplace. So adopt some of the following methods to maintain the balance between work and play.

Spruce Up Your Common Room

Some people might prefer to leave the office for lunch, but for those who choose not to, having a pleasant place for them to sit, eat and chat promotes conversation and social interaction. An appealingly coloured, comfortably furnished room may even encourage other employees to bring their own packed lunches and spend time with their colleagues, rather than waiting in line and trying to find a place to sit in the nearest café during lunch hour.

Have After-Work Socials

Every once in a while, try and hold employee socials so people can get to know one another away from the constraints of the workplace and looming deadlines. This can be as simple as a trip to the pub on a Friday night or a weekend retreat – but there’s a whole spectrum of activities in between to pick from, like bowling nights, barbeques, or picnics.

Use a Casual Communication System

Even in this age of open-plan offices, shyer or more introverted employees may still be hesitant to come out from behind their office dividers and get to know people. Make it possible for them, or for anyone who has a more specific request in mind, to advertise events like concerts, films or theatre shows that they’ve got a spare ticket for, or are looking for people to go with. Do it the old-fashioned way with a bulletin board, or set up a website or message thread for people to spread the word quickly and quietly.

Set Up an Employee Birthday Calendar

Just because someone’s coming in to work on their birthday doesn’t mean their day has to pass without any celebration. Having a list of employee birthdays means you can send a card around to be signed or maybe even pool together for a small gift. Even if someone doesn’t come into work that day or has their birthday over the weekend, nothing eases the transition back to work after a big celebration like a thoughtful card from your colleagues waiting for you on your return.

Advertise Opportunities in Your Newsletter

If your company sends out a regular newsletter, include mentions or recommendations of local activities, pubs, restaurants, cafés, or volunteer opportunities that employees can check out for themselves, perhaps arranging to visit in pairs or groups.

Do you know any more ways of encouraging healthy relationships amongst your employees? Share them in the comments! Get more office advice from office partition specialists Applied Workplace here.