With the rise of independent businesses and entrepreneurial spirit in today’s market, it is becoming more and more important to have a strong relationship with the people you work with, and especially those you work for.
Of course being able to professionally and adequately finish a job on time is very important, but so is being able to have a comfortable conversation about non-work related topics, and even more so to be able to trust one another with non-work related tasks and favors. This should go way beyond giving someone a ride home from work, grabbing beers with coworkers or talking about how much money you saved on your car insurance by switching to Geico®.
You should be able to hang out on a saturday and feel like you’re hanging out with friends, not coworkers. You should want to do that, not feel that you have to in order to better the relationships within your company. Sure, talking about projects off the clock or on the weekend is a necessity for a small-medium sized business, but there has to be a deeper bond to the relationship. It makes projects more successful and the entire workflow and experience more enjoyable.
I have a great relationship with my boss and coworkers, and always look forward to continuing to build those relationships and get to know everyone better. Recently though, this whole idea really struck me more than it has before and I could clearly see how beneficial it is.
I’ve known my boss for sometime now, and we’ve really gotten to know each other over the years. Before he started the business a couple years back, he was a teacher at my high school, and both my brother and I were in his classes. So at this point – between a teacher, a boss, a mentor and a friend – we know how to communicate well with one another in a lot of different situations. But the importance of this really hit me when I was watching his house and animals while he and his family were up north for a few days.
At first when he asked, I didn’t really think much of it – I love animals, dogs especially, I’ve watched friends houses before while they were away, and he has done loads of favors for me in the past. So there was not question – of course I would watch the house. But once I got there, I guess it began to seem like a bigger deal than it was. This was a huge amount of trust for him to put in me, and not that he can’t rely on me for such a favor, I guess it was just a bit of a reality shock.
Then it hit me. This is the level of trust and responsibility you should feel comfortable giving to coworkers outside of the work environment. If an individual can trust you with their home, their livestock and their pets, they can pretty much trust you on that same level with just about anything, especially something work related. The importance of that kind of trust has shown to be quite significant, even if we sometimes don’t realize it. He can trust me and I can trust him, and at the end of the day that keeps our business moving in the right direction.
“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves to be great.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Brought to you by Ian Culver of Michigan Creative