June 22, 2018
Your coworkers are people that you will spend nearly 40 hours a week with, so it makes sense that you’d want to form connections with them. These people don’t have to be your best friends, but it will make your time at work much more enjoyable if you get along with the people around you. It can seem daunting to find time to forge these connections during your busy workday, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are several simple ways to connect with your coworkers and form relationships in the workplace.
Be a Good Employee
Your work performance may not seem very important to your ability to connect with your coworkers, but remember that all relationships are built on trust, and pulling your weight in the office is the way to earn this trust. Makailyn, a hiring expert from Textron, says “First and foremost, working hard and being a valuable member of the team will start off your relationship on the right foot and gain respect from your coworkers. Positivity, respect, and engagement can go a long way!”1 This should be one of the easiest ways to start building connections with coworkers since you should be giving it your all anyway!
Take Advantage of Resources
If you are looking to build connections that span across departments or that reach a bit deeper than surface level, consider getting involved in any after-hours opportunities your organization provides. Ashley, from Cardinal Health, recommends, “If your company has employee resource groups, joining one is going to be the easiest way to meet new people. Employee resource groups are typically comprised of members from all departments and include employees at many different levels. Another easy way to get involved is by participating in community service. If your company offers any type of volunteering or fundraising, take part in it.”2 Taking advantage of everything your company has to offer is a great way to better connect with the people with whom you work, and also meet a few new friends as well.
At the end of the day, forming relationships within the workplace is no different than forming them anywhere else. If you want to get to know people better, talk to them! Bret, a hiring expert from Emerson, says “Step outside your comfort zone and sit with different people at lunch every day. You would be surprised at how many people are thinking the same thing you are and are just waiting for someone to make the first move in making new connections. Swallow your pride, have a bit of humility, and you will see how easy it is to meet new people.”3 Of course, you may encounter a few people who aren’t interested in getting to know you better, but don’t let that discourage you. You’ll probably find that many of your coworkers are in the same position you are and will appreciate you taking the first step.
While it may be intimidating at first, building those connections with your coworkers is vital to a successful workplace. You’ll not only be happier in a workplace where you feel comfortable, but you’ll also be more productive and successful.