Interpersonal relationships play a central role in defining an office’s culture. Positive relationships between coworkers and between coworkers and managers can help a branch thrive. Managers direct much of their office’s culture, and their commitment to fostering strong relationships in the branch can mean greater success for all. Managers must focus on their own relationships with each employee as well as effective coworker relationships. Read on for some strategies managers can employ to support and develop positive relationships within their branch:
Promote honesty and respect
Fostering healthy manager-coworker relationships starts with managers leading by example. Managers should be open to discussing failure and mistakes, both employee’s and their own. They need to be honest about expectations for work performance and office goals, especially if they have team members who aren’t meeting them. While remaining upfront about these things, showing respect is key. Managers must treat employees with the same respect that they expect in return. Healthy office relationships require a balance between honesty and respect that promotes open discussion without unnecessary drama. When managers address issues and challenges in this way, they set the tone for employees to do the same with one another.
Establish clear relationships
Branch managers lead the entire team. Managers who are overly professional with their employees can create an environment that feels tense and closed off. On the other hand, managers who become too friendly with employees can lose some of their authority and ability to lead. Once again, it comes down to achieving a balance. Managers need to understand how to maintain the right balance of friendly vs professional relationships. Ultimately, these are work relationships, and that professional connection should guide the relationship. At the same time, getting to know employees on an individual level and creating space for employees to bond can strengthen the branch as a whole. Managers need to be a leader first. If they maintain that foundation, they can build the more personable connections with employees from there.
Healthy relationships begin with great communication. When communication begins to break down, misunderstandings can inhibit success. Managers must take the initiative to promote clear communication. This starts with creating an environment where their team feels comfortable coming to their manager and coworkers with questions and issues. Managers should give honest feedback to employees, and specific information for ways to improve. In addition to giving feedback, managers should also welcome feedback themselves. One of the best ways to foster smooth pathways for communication is to hold brief meetings regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page. These meetings can be a forum for the office to share positive information as well as to bring up concerns and ask questions. In addition to group meetings, managers should also commit to meeting regularly with employees one-on-one. These meetings allow managers to answer questions, give advice, track performance, and address any issues before they become larger problems.
Create an encouraging environment
Employees who feel underappreciated tend to underperform. On the flip side, employees who are acknowledged for their hard work and accomplishments have a greater sense of accountability, take more initiative in the branch, and perform better. One way for managers to promote the feeling of appreciation is through public recognition. Don’t hesitate to compliment your team members for a job well done. Some offices even use a “high five” system where employees ‘high five’ a fellow employee along with a description of something helpful or successful they did that week. These then add up to rewards, gift cards, time off, and other incentives. This kind of appreciation helps to create a more positive culture in the office because it gives employees the incentive to work through challenges and celebrate each other’s success.
Plan team-building events
When done right, these team-building events can strengthen the entire branch. Both activities focused specifically on teamwork and those promoting socializing as an office outside of work are great ways to build positive office relationships. Managers who make the effort to get to know their team members and find activities that truly appeal to employees will have the most success. These events will also help new employees to become a part of the team more efficiently. Connecting in a more casual way outside of the office can foster connections that promote better teamwork and collaboration in the office.
Healthy interpersonal relationships in the office lay the foundation for a thriving branch. From the teamwork that goes on in the office to the experience clients have when they come into the branch, these relationships promote success. For satisfied employees and clients and a branch that runs smoothly and effectively, managers must invest in fostering positive relationships.