Signs of Good Employee Work Relationships
It's not always easy to see the signs of good employee work relationships. They include more than just how often employees get together for Friday happy hour, or how much employees contribute to the collection for an employee's retirement gift. Signs of positive workplace relationships include measurable factors such as a company's ability to reach its sales and profit goals. They also include factors that are difficult to measure, such as employee morale.
Workplace conflict is inevitable. Co-workers have different work styles and personalities, and can often bump heads over job-oriented things like work experience, tenure, position and training as well as things that have nothing to do with work, such as generational, lifestyle, cultural and gender differences. An absence of conflict in the workplace isn't realistic and it's not necessarily a sign of good employee work relationships. Conflict management is a more positive sign of good employee work relationships. The manner in which employees prevent potential conflict and resolve conflict and issues with their co-workers is more important because it illustrates effective communication and negotiation between employees and leadership.
Collaborative, cooperative working arrangements are easy when employees get along with their co-workers and show mutual respect for each other. This can improve a company's productivity and profitability. At the same time, when employees don't get along, it can hurt productivity. For example, the nature of work on an assembly line requires the collective effort of every worker on the line. If employees are at odds with each other, or if they ignore assignments from their supervisors, it creates a nonproductive work environment. When employees do get along and strive to help one another, productivity increases.
An easy-to-measure sign of good employee work relationships is attendance, which also is a quantitative factor related to employee engagement. Employees enjoy good employee work relationships are usually enthusiastic about showing up to work every day. Employees who don't get along with their co-workers, and therefore have more negative experiences on the job, are more likely to record a high number of absences.
Higher levels of employee retention and lower turnover rates are other measurable signs of good employee work relationships. Employees who enjoy their co-workers, their jobs and find purpose in the work that they do tend to stay with the organization longer. In some cases, ineffective leadership, or a lack of communication between managers and employees, can cause employees to leave their jobs for other opportunities.
- Workforce: Employee Engagement Define It, Measure It and Put It to Work in Your Organization
- Management Study Guide: Employee Relations - Importance and Ways of Improving Employee Relations
- American Productivity & Quality Center: History of APQC
- American Society for Association Executives: The Seven Hidden Reasons Employees Leave
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.