How To Build Relationships With Employees


There are plenty of answers to the age-old question, “What makes the world go ’round?” Cynics say money, literalists say momentum.

But when you look at the very core of our lives, it’s clear to see. What makes the world go ’round is strong relationships.

That’s right. Personal relationships, work relationships, even your relationship with the grocer at your local market.

How To Build Relationships With Employees

All of these interactions you have with folks day to day are an important part of your life. Whether you think of it this way or not.

You might be looking for ways to advance your career success. Or maybe you’re just looking to develop a more positive attitude.

Either way, the answer is plain to see. Building relationships is the key to living a happier life. So why not start in the office?

See Related: 20 Creative Virtual Christmas Party Ideas

The pillars of workplace relationships

Great work relationships are based on many things. But here are the core pillars that you should focus on.


Whether it’s between colleagues or between an employee and their manager, trust is essential for any good relationship. Especially when those good relationships also have the company’s success riding on their back.


Not only of who your fellow team members are. But of the roles you play in relationship to senior management.


Making positive contributions for the betterment of others is behind every strong relationship you see. Not to mention that that kind of behavior is simply (hashtag) organizational goals.


Creating an open communication not only infuses respect into all of your interactions with another person. It allows both ideas and questions to be exchanged in a non-judgmental environment.

Benefits of positive workplace relationships

Personally, we think the point of building strong relationships is already beneficial in and of itself. But for those of you looking for solid outcomes, go ahead and keep reading below.

Greater job satisfaction

Any job takes effort. But when you show up to a business or organization and genuinely enjoy the company of those around you, the tasks set before you are a piece of cake. (Or whatever your preferred dessert choice.)

Positive relationships in the workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction as well

Increased comfort in the workplace

A sense of security in the workplace is far and above an underestimated benefit. Think of it this way: How much time do you spend with your colleagues? So why not be comfortable around them?

Higher levels of productivity

When you build trust, decision-making becomes an easier feat simply because you’re not trying to tiptoe around the issue. In turn, your work can easily go the extra mile due to the solid relationships around you.

Bonus: What Is Work Productivity?

Moral support during trying times

At the end of the day, you’re not just an employee. You’re a person. And everyone needs a little bit of support especially during times that are difficult to process.

Ways to build positive relationships in the workplace

All of this relationship-building is starting to sound pretty good, right? Well, here are a couple of ways for you to build trust and respect amongst your team members.

#1. Establish trust

Trust flows both ways. But if you’re a manager of a business, you’re going to have to establish that employees can trust you first.

This means being open and honest with employees on new projects that come in. And showing them that you take full responsibility as head of the team. Trust, of course, takes time to build.

But you need to show each employee that you are trustworthy before you can trust them in return. Even a simple gesture of respect can greatly enhance employee engagement and keep employees comfortable and motivated in the workplace.

Like hiring a virtual emcee, for example. Not only is it a treat for your office. But you show workers that you’re not all business after all.

#2. Develop office hours

You might think of office hours as something designated for teachers or college professors. But if you’re the head of a business or organization, office hours can greatly enhance the company culture.

Implementing office hours tells employees that you are open to their feedback and concerns

This way, employees know that you are approachable and open to talking with them on any number of subjects. After all, you’ve literally designated a time for employees to address their concerns with you.

Maybe your work schedule doesn’t allow for office hours everyday. But ultimately, you know how important it is for employees to feel safe and seen at their place of work.

#3. Ask your employees what is important to them

The unique thing about a workplace is that it brings a diverse set of employees together. And each will have a different set of values that make them who they are.

Getting to know these facets of your employees is one step in the right direction to establishing a solid relationship in the workplace. Besides, you want to know who you’re working with, right?

So maybe have a virtual comedian chime into the office. They can get folks laughing and on the same page, all creating a bond of trust simply through laughter alone.

But in all seriousness, the effort you put into getting to know them will resonate with any team. Because at the end of the day, you’re all people, not just employees.

#4. Actively listen

What’s the key to any relationship? Listening.

When you listen to the other person, you demonstrate a level of respect that allows that employee to feel secure in their ideas. In turn, they may feel more comfortable offering up new ideas that could lead to positive changes within the organization.

So you never know where the next best thing could come from. But first, it begins with your ability to allow employees to lead the conversation.

#5. Demonstrate your appreciation

Employees like to feel appreciated for the work that they put in. So consider demonstrating your appreciation through thank you notes or small gifts.

Anything that makes employees feel valued. Of course, everyone shows their appreciation for others in a different way.

Show employees you appreciate their hard work and they will feel valued and more open to building a relationship with you

But nevertheless, any chance you get to reward employees for their hard work is a positive use of your time. Thus, the chance to earn their trust even more continues to grow in these moments.

#6. Allow team members their autonomy

There’s nothing worse than being an employee and having your supervisor monitor your every move. Odds are, you’ve been there, and it’s highly uncomfortable.

So allow your employees their own autonomy. Give them responsibility on new projects and trust them to accomplish the task.

Not only will you be showing employees that you trust them to do their work accordingly. You are allowing each employee the individual freedom to get work done in their own way.

#7. Welcome employee feedback

Employee feedback is yet another highly underrated measure of job satisfaction that all managers ought to take into account. In fact, such feedback from employees could also give you an idea of what improvements you ought to implement throughout the company.

But most importantly, welcoming feedback tells employees that you care. You’re not there simply to tell them what to do and expect them to get it done with questions.

Instead, feedback opens up a conversation. Maybe that conversation includes bringing in a virtual event host to change up leadership every once in awhile. 

Or maybe that conversation works out in different ways. But either way, feedback ensures that employees are trusted with the same level of respect that you can expect in return from them.

Final thoughts

Building positive relationships with employees in the workplace is a crucial part of any organization’s success. Not to mention, it helps you as the manager to better know the individuals that you’re working with.

Far too often, workplace relationships get mistaken for unprofessionalism. But when you think about it, it’s actually quite the opposite.

You can choose the route of professionalism that requires individuals to silently work amongst each other, checking off tasks as they go. Or, you can redefine professionalism as the basis for strong relationships.

Professional relationships should offer support to individuals looking to grow both inside and outside the office

Which, in turn, not only help individuals grow within their designated roles at the company. But help them grow within their personal lives as well.

Ideally, our place of work is not simply just a space we attend everyday to pay the bills. Instead, it ought to be a place where individuals feel free to explore and challenge their ability to work hard and reap the rewards.

After all, the best kind of job is one that enhances the individual. Both professionally and personally.

So consider these tips when building relationships with your employees. And make the focus their own personal development both inside and outside the office.

Keep Reading: How To Measure Employee Satisfaction

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of Clean Comedians®. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.