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Positive workplace relationships are essential to running a successful business, and are fundamental in building a motivated and productive workplace. From showing gratitude, to asking questions, we share our top five tips on how to strengthen your relationships with your employees.

1: Find shared interests

Finding common interests with your employees is a great way to connect with them. Whether you barrack for the same sports team, or both enjoy a shared hobby, it’s a great way to connect over something you both enjoy. How do you discover these shared interests? Show interest! Start by asking your employees what they’re up to over the weekend or what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Even if your interests don’t perfectly match up, this can be a great opportunity to learn about something new and perhaps even find a new hobby to try out.

2: Prioritise face-to-face communication

The past few years have made us perhaps too comfortable with communicating over email and on the phone. However, face-to-face communication remains the best option to connect with your employees and really understand them. When you speak with someone face-to-face you can see their body language and get a greater understanding of how they’re feeling during the conversation. Whether it’s a morning check-in or popping in to say bye at the end of each day, try to check-in with your employees frequently. Still working from home? Opt for Zoom meetings over phone calls to get a more personal experience.

3: Show gratitude

It’s important to remember that your employees are working hard each day to help the company reach their goals, and that their efforts should be recognised. While it may not seem like a big deal, a simple “thank you” can go a long way in making your employees feel appreciated. Try make your moment of gratitude personal to each staff member and think about their achievements or sacrifices they have made for the good of the company. Have a staff member that works out of hours without a fuss? Let them know this is appreciated. It’s also a good idea to offer some incentives for their extra effort such as a rostered day off.

4: Take breaks 

Running a business is a huge commitment, and it’s easy to fall into the habit of skipping lunch breaks to get everything done. However, taking breaks is an important part of anyone’s work day and has even been proven to increase productivity. Another great reason for taking breaks? Spending quality time with your staff. A laugh over lunch or a chat over a coffee break are great opportunities to check in with your staff about both work and personal matters.

5: Ask questions

Your employees are valuable assets to your company, and many of them would have a great knowledge about what does and doesn’t work for the business. Take time to ask them questions about what is and isn’t working for the company, and hear them out of any suggestions they have. If you have great employees, chances are they will be passionate about the company just as you are and will be eager to see it succeed.

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