A business is only as good as how it treats people. No matter how amazing a product or service is, employees and customers will resent the time and resources they devote to a company if they aren't treated well. The root of a business is not its work ethic or the bottom line, it's the relationships fostered in and around the company itself that can determine overall success.
Just as it's important to have relationships in daily life, work relationships are as equally imperative for emotional health and satisfaction in the workplace. Some might assert that great perks make for a great work experience, but they are not looking at what those perks do for the business as a whole.
Take Google, for example. Google was ranked first on Fortune's list of America's Best Companies to Work For – for the sixth year in a row. Fortune detailed the amazing employee benefits that come from working at the company, including a free gourmet buffet cafeteria, free gym memberships, bonuses for births and the list goes on. Clearly, Google values its employees, but the tech company also employs a bit of social engineering to help team members get to know each other.
Google is well aware that a close-knit community of workers will lead to a more productive and happy workplace, which is why Google covertly pushes people to meet one another. Fortune outlined that the long cafeteria tables and close quarters at the corporation's headquarters make for easy introductions. People eating their gourmet delicacies will interact with each other and those friendships are more likely to improve the attitude of the entire office. Google has the happiest and most productive workers in America today, at least according to Fortune, and all businesses can take a page from its book to benefit their own offices.
Of course, not all enterprises can afford the same perks or deploy the exact same methods to foster relationships, but others can use Google as a guide. Businesses should encourage employees to get to know each other and create a support system of colleagues that will inevitably lead to a work environment in which people really want to work.
Business-to-business interactions are not quite as intricate as social engineered friendships, but are nonetheless important. Entrepreneur asserted that when leaders reach out to others, there are positive effects for both parties. Leaders can experience an emotional release, with one talking about issues and concerns while the other business leader can offer advice or just a friendly ear. This back and forth strengthens relationships, which can be helpful for referrals or partnerships in the future. Businesses do not need to be alone in their enterprise world – instead, they can work together to make sure that each company is happy, healthy and prospering.
Corporate relationships need to be maintained and cared for, just like relationships in the personal sphere. The skills needed for building professional relationships and maintaining their longevity can be refined at workshops or seminars. Business leaders should attend a few sessions to determine what path of action would be best for their businesses.