When we talk about culture, we often stress the importance of creating values that allow our employees to align to our culture and embedding certain collective behaviours within our teams.
But something that can get overlooked when we talk about culture is the importance of building strong relationships. Ultimately, one of the critical components of building an outstanding culture is building outstanding relationships.
At the core, there are three critical foundations to building a successful workplace relationship:
Trust is absolutely critical to the success of any relationship–both professional and personal. In fact, if trust doesn’t exist you don’t really have a relationship in the first place.
You can build trust with your employees by first treating them with a level of trust. No one likes to be micromanaged, and employees generally do their best work when they feel a certain level of empowerment and autonomy. If your relationship is built on a foundation of mutual trust you’ll be able to move forward knowing that they can play their role and not have to check up on them all the time.
Another crucial part of building trust is understanding that people generally come from a position of good intent (I talk more about the importance of ‘intent’ in this article).
Your employees might get something wrong or do something that you don’t like occasionally. This isn’t because they didn’t have the right intent in mind, they simply made a mistake. When you build trust, you also build in that buffer to allow people to make mistakes, but then feel comfortable to talk them through and move on quickly.
The second critical element to any strong workplace relationship is care. You need to genuinely care about others and in turn, they should also care about you.
It’s simply not enough to say that you care about your team – you need to also show that you care for them deeply and have their best interests at heart. Simple ways to show that you care are informal check-in meetings, as well as more formal conversations around their growth and development.
The third critical element to any strong workplace relationship is commitment. You need to be committed to other people so that they, in turn, can commit to you. Again, saying that you are ‘committed’ is different to truly being committed.
If you are genuinely committed to your employees and your team, you’ll be able to show it by following through on promises and delivering on things you say you’ll deliver on consistently.
Ultimately, if you want to build an organisation with an outstanding culture, you need to look deeper and understand the elements that contribute to creating that outstanding culture. Strong workplace relationships are one of the crucial elements, because if every person in the organisation is able to come together you are more likely to succeed.
In this video blog, we dive further into how fostering positive workplace relationships can create a culture of success. Watch the full video below.