Valuing Workplace Relationships

Are you the type of leader who builds lasting relationships with your colleagues?  I had the pleasure of an ‘out of the blue’ email from a former employee at a job over ten years ago. It was a delightful note, reminding me of our shared history and updating me on her career and family. She even included a picture of her young son! This gesture, on her part, was so meaningful to me and helped me reflect on how deeply I value the relationships built in each workplace. Whether as the boss or the employee, the shared challenges and wins can be the building blocks of a respectful relationship for years to come. Research shows the link between positive cultures and organizational effectiveness.[1]  There are several aspects of positive cultures and they include being interested in colleagues as friends and treating each other with respect.

In addition, as professionals we know the value of networking and how often a new opportunity comes from within our circle of acquaintances. But beyond this possible benefit, do you really care?  Do your colleagues know it?  Showing respect and interest to those you share your day with at work can yield new learning in so many other areas.  I’ve learned about travel, food, culture, family traditions and about personal challenges, heartache and loss from my colleagues.  Demonstrating respectful interest in the person and their success will go a long way to enabling lasting friendships and lifelong learning.

Are you still connected to former colleagues?  Have you received or sent one of those ‘out of the blue’ emails?  Why or why not?  How can reflection on this question help influence your behavior in the workplace today?

Stacie Blake

[1] Cameron, Kim, et al. Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness. Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship Ross School of Business University of Michigan, Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness. Accessed July 3, 2018


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