Elements of Effective Workplace Relationships

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    • Relationships, inside the workplace or out, are built on integrity. Integrity essentially means you trust the person you work with to be honest, trustworthy and committed to developing a professional relationship based on those principles. Employees exhibit integrity in the workplace through demonstrating work ethics that are congruent with the company philosophy. Managers with integrity interact with employees in a manner that exemplifies their commitment to doing the right thing when it comes to mentoring, training and providing guidance to employees. When employees witness managers modeling behavior based on their personal and professional integrity, they often emulate that behavior.


    • Honest and candid interaction throughout the workplace is an important, if sometimes overlooked, element of effective working relationships. When managers provide constructive feedback to employees, it should be done in as candid a manner as possible. Avoiding the tendency to sugar-coat employee feedback benefits both the manager and her employee. Employees appreciate a direct, straightforward assessment of their performance. They can be motivated by a manager who isn't afraid to offer candid feedback because it clarifies the company's expectations and shows how managers can help lend their expertise to help employees meet company expectations. Managers also appreciate candor; employees who exhibit candor in their communications with management gain respect from supervisors and managers.

    Mutual Respect

    • Paramount in workplace relationships is mutual respect. The workplace is comprised of employees with diverse backgrounds, experiences and work styles who bring a multitude of talent to the organization. Without the talent and skills employees use in the performance of their jobs, it's unlikely that success would be an attainable goal. However, with the need to recognize diverse talent comes the need for mutual respect. Mutual respect for everyone who contributes to the organizational landscape is absolutely required for collegial relationships. Productivity can be more easily attained with collaborative teamwork based on mutual respect.

    Shared Goals

    • Employees who have common goals can create effective working relationships. The concept of shared goals is commonly used to describe lattice organizational structures, where the lines of authority are less important to the company's success than a common goal that's shared among everyone in the workplace. This element of effective workplace relationships can be replicated in organizations without the lattice structure, however. Employees and managers who align their own professional goals with organizational goals are fully engaged and enthusiastic about working together. This enthusiasm translates into a collegial work environment where people at every level understand their role in transforming the company's vision into their own professional vision.

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