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Career Success, Work

10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

Written by Ankit Garg
Serial entrepreneur and working towards Early Retirement
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Behind the corporate veil, the actual members who work towards achieving the company goals are the ultimate assets. To ensure the corporate setting remains healthy, employees of companies are encouraged to establish and maintain workplace relationships.

It is very important for every team member to maintain focused goals on a professional front, at their individual level and at the organizational level. With even the slightest discord between two employees, the entire team might suffer and have to adjust to the downsize in organizational success.

As humans, each and every employee is bound to have different opinions and feel inclined to meet their personal goals, just as much as they meet the goals of their company. Hence, it is essential that work relationships among different employees are friendly and cordial. This will help fellow team members to work together as an efficient team. The ultimate outcome of which will be a capable workforce poised to gather the gains of organizational success.

10 Ways to Build Workplace Relationships

The importance of workplace relationships cannot be understated since it is one of the top drivers of employee engagement.

You’ll be surprised to know that building positive work relationships is easy once you learn certain tips and techniques.

But first, what are the types of workplace relationships?

A work relationship is when two or more people are working together towards the same goal in an environment where they can maintain camaraderie and avoid working friction.

According to Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz in their book Leadership Conversations, there are the four types of work relationships you must cultivate:

  • Targeted relationships: These include people you don’t know but work in the same industry as you as competitors or peers.
  • Tentative relationships: These are the people you have interacted with briefly at a networking event or perhaps a conference.
  • Transactional relationships: These relationships are less personal. It is usually used by people to accomplish a certain business objective.
  • Trusted relationships: This is one of the most important workplace relationships. It includes people that are close to you at work. Most people with a best friend at their workplace feel a more profound connection to their company [1].

Let us take a look at some of the ways to build positive and effective work relationships, and help employees work together as a team:

1. Respect Your Peer’s Time

No matter which domain you work in, each workplace arena entails the performance of various jobs by the employees. Within this organization, there are a set of cumulative jobs which ought to be performed at a specific pace, and within a set period of time.

Sometimes, some procedures are dependent upon the performance of an action by a certain member of the team so that the other members can carry out the subsequent steps. The ultimate target with this planning is that the work must be completed on time and there should be no delay in meeting deadlines that have been set for the purpose.

Thus, in situations where you are placed in a role where other people are affected by your actions or performance, you must respect their time and effort and ensure that the ball is not pent up in your court.

At the same time, remember that you should make yourself available for other people, should they require your help. Ultimately, your aim must be focused on ensuring that work is not pending and you get it done like experts.

2. Ensure That You Are Cautious With Social Media

With the ongoing trend in the digital space, it is easy to feel compelled and drawn toward the idea of connecting with your peers and colleagues on social media. Although there is not much harm in the practice, it is essential to observe caution while making these connections.

The simple reason behind this is that one wrong move can dampen your reputation or else, cause your peers to gather an incorrect impression about you.


It makes sense to ensure what the social media policy of your organization is before treading on this path. If such policies restrict the association of fellow employees, then you must respect them.

3. Keep Communication Transparent

Communication is essentially one of the most vital keys which impact how your relationships with peers and other employees are. The role of effective communication cannot be stressed enough. It is vital to attain the goals of working together in an organization and carrying out the jobs which will help in attaining success.

However, there is a very big danger with communication. As part of human nature, it is easy to assume that the person ahead of us has understood what we intend to say. This might not be true at all times.

One key part of building strategic work relationships is taking feedback. This will help you know if your message has been understood in an intended manner. If the message has not reached the intended party as expected, corrective actions can be taken at the same time.

Poor communication has the disadvantage of adding stress and distrust among fellow employees. It can sometimes cause the delivery failure of crucial messages, leading to organizational turbulence, after which the blame game is hard to end.


To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, communicate through a formal chain of command and follow a formal mode of communication. Thus, communicating through email or any other formal channel that would be an appropriate way to communicate to keep everything on record. This will help in referring to the communications later, should any dispute arise.

4. Give Constructive Feedback

As important as it is to take feedback from others, it is also important to give your feedback. It is not just you who needs feedback but also your peers in order to understand how well they are performing.

Your feedback will help others progress in their work as much as it will help you progress in yours. Giving constructive feedback to your fellow peers at the right time and in the right state will help them advance and ultimately lead to the success of the organization.

Your co-workers are bound to value your opinion and regard you in a positive light if you provide them with the feedback that you require from them.

5. Make Use of Common Day Courtesies

Greeting a co-worker may sound like something so ordinary that you might wonder how it ended up on this list. However, as long as we are talking about ways to build a positive work environment, this one cannot be ignored.

You may be surprised by bidding your co-workers simple common day courtesies! Being humble never hurt anyone, even if you do not exactly receive something in return.


Moreover, you must maintain eye contact with your fellow peers if you wish to gain their trust. This will provide the necessary infrastructure to build a capable team.

6. Get Into the Habit of Helping Yourself

While at work, accept that you are never going to receive the pampered behaviour which you do at home. No one at your workplace wakes up in the morning and makes themselves available to hear you rant or constantly answer your questions. However, you might come up with situations nevertheless, which require you to ask for help or advice.

In this scenario, try to gather some information about your question, say, from the manuals which you receive upon joining, or from the web and equip yourself with some concrete information about the question which you may be ready to ask from someone else.

At least when you approach someone with your doubts, along with the information you’ve gathered, they will appreciate you for having made the effort to find out the answer.

This will make them feel important as well, and will help develop workplace relationships.

7. Treat Everyone As Equals

As a member of your team, it is not your job to point out who is better and who is not. Organizational politics can be a deadly game to play and as long as you are not a pro player, it is always risky to put yourself in a situation that will tarnish your image.

Gossiping and spreading rumours is something you must avoid at all costs. Behave humbly, and even if someone tries to pull you into a negative conversation, avoid it respectfully. Do everything you can to pull yourself out of that situation.


While talking behind people’s backs may sound like a refreshing fun activity initially, it will come to bite you behind the back in the future. Also, it will be wise to remember that no one in the organization is permanent. People change, and so can their designation. It will be better for you to keep your personal views about someone in your head.

Part of treating everyone as an equal is appreciating them. This is crucial because 79% of workers cited a lack of being appreciated as a reason for quitting their jobs [2].

As long as you maintain the idea of treating everyone as equal, you will find yourself in a positive working environment at all times.

8. Acknowledge Your Mistakes

Mistakes happen and one of the more noteworthy facts about mistakes is that they can be made by anyone. The wisest thing you can do is to admit mistakes you’ve made.

Playing the blame game will not only tarnish the name of your peers but also your own. It is always good to avoid getting into a tiff with others. Admit your mistakes and think of remedies or solutions to fix them. For a positive working relationship with your peers, you will need to adopt this quality.

9. Learn to Take on Responsibilities

Passing on your workload might be required when you are overburdened with work. However, when entrusted with a job, you should try to accept it as your responsibility and avoid putting it off to someone else if you truly want to build workplace relationships.

Putting off work all the time will only end up creating a block between you and your peers, while they may start avoiding communicating with you at all. When you work in a team, your duty is to cooperate and build a positive working relationship with your teammates.


10. Engage in a Follow-up Routine

As a part of a team, it is necessary to express the fact that you care about everyone and you are also poised to achieve the targets set by your team. This is one of the best ways to build workplace relationships.

Whenever you get the chance, do not hesitate to ask your co-workers about your work performance and whether they think there’s anything you should improve. Be prepared to be available to change and improve. This will go a long way in presenting yourself as a responsible and willing-to-learn employee.

The Bottom Line

These are just some of the ways in which fellow team members can build positive workplace relationships among themselves and work towards taking the organization to new heights. This attitude is best to achieve overall success for the organization and create an environment of trust and honesty among the employees.


Don't have time for the full article? Read this.

10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

There are four types of work relationships: targeted, tentative, transactional, and trusted relationships.

Continuously communicate with your coworkers and colleagues, whether it’s creating smoother work systems or asking/providing feedback.

Use common day courtesies – greet your colleagues, be respectful, and honor their time.

Step up to the plate as a team player, whether it’s taking on extra duties to help a coworker out or acknowledging personal mistakes.

Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com


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