Humans have a basic need for belonging and connection. We’re naturally motivated to develop and maintain personal bonds with others. A lack of interpersonal relationships can negatively impact our health, our ability to adjust, and our overall well-being.
These truths extend to the workplace. Employees want and need to build relationships at work. Personal connections with managers, leaders, coworkers, and customers lead to increased employee engagement and performance.
But studies show that only 5% of workers strongly agree that their organization helps them build stronger personal relationships. The important need for connection is not being met at many workplaces.
How can organizations ensure their cultures create and nurture these engaging relationships? They must understand the impact of workplace relationships and learn how to measure them.
When employees have strong relationships with their managers and coworkers, the workplace reaps the benefits.
Employees are more satisfied. Employee satisfaction increases nearly 50% when a worker develops a close relationship on the job. These relationships make work more enjoyable and impact employees’ commitment to their jobs and coworkers.
Managers are less stressed. Stress is the emotion managers feel most commonly at work. But managers experience significantly less stress when they feel they have a good relationship with their employees. When employees better understand their managers’ challenges, they can help solve problems that may lower manager stress levels.
Employees manage conflicts better. Studies show that conflict leads to lost time and less effort at work. Some workplace conflict is inevitable, but strong relationships decrease these uncomfortable interactions. Ensuring employees and managers are comfortable around and respectful of each other reduces the risk of flare-ups.
Employee desires are met. Employees want to work with people they enjoy. Relationships with coworkers are among the top drivers of employee engagement – 77% of employees list them as a priority.
Modern engagement and performance platforms provide access to A LOT of data. This data can help tell an aggregate story of the employee experience at your organization. But to make a real impact on engagement outputs, you must measure your engagement inputs.
Think about how you measure your financial health. You can look at your credit score and determine the general state of your finances. But that won’t give you any insight into why or how you got there.
The why and the how are important in determining what you should do to improve. You need to look at everything that impacts your credit score and other areas of your finances – including your income, spending, debt, savings, investments, insurance, and more.
It’s the same with engagement and performance. You can’t just look at your engagement score to see if you’re improving, maintaining, or declining. You must dig into the why – and examine the inputs.
Many factors impact engagement and performance, but relationships are among the most important. You’ve heard it before: people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. The relationship between manager and employee has the power to make or break an employee’s experience and performance.
Relationships matter, and your relationship data matters. But how do you measure and improve relationships in your organization? You need the right tools and approach. You must empower employees at all levels (especially your managers) to build awesome and lasting connections.
To learn more about measuring and empowering relationships and engagement in your organization, get your copy of our ebook, The Relationship-Driven Workplace.