How can applying strengths to relationships increase collective wellbeing in the workplace?

Our Business Depends on Positive Relationships.

Collective success is achieved through people and how effectively they collaborate. Without positive relationships – connections based on mutual trust and respect – our work can suffer.

This isn’t surprising considering positive relationships act as energising revitalisers. They improve our happiness, wellbeing, engagement and resilience, therefore making us feel more energetic and motivated. According to statistics cited by the campaign to end loneliness, being lonely increases the likelihood of mortality by 26% – the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Another study suggests lonely people are 64% more likely to develop clinical dementia.

So, how does this translate into the workplace?

We are working harder and longer than ever before, but despite that fact the office being a second home, workplace loneliness is on the rise. Recent research from Total Jobs found that 60% of people feel lonely at work.

The lack of positive relationships at work has a knock-on negative effect on peoples performance as well as their wellbeing. A recent study from Sacramento States College of Business Administration found that people who feel isolated or lonely are less engaged and less committed to their organisation.

Why do strengths matter?

We have established that positive relationships at work matter. Research from Gallup found that women who have a best friend at work are twice as likely to engaged than those who don’t.

So, how do strengths help foster relationships? Being self-aware of our own strengths and being able to spot strengths in others can help build high quality relationships. After all, who doesn’t enjoy talking about what makes them feel energised?

If people start to understand each others strengths, they can tailor their communication more effectively. For example, are they working with someone analytical? If so, provide plenty of detail when delegating a task. Are they collaborating with someone strategic? Then give them the bigger picture. Communication is key when fostering trust and respect.

Let’s not completely forget about weaknesses though. By discussing weaknesses it allows us to get to know others based on who they really are, not just who they feel they should be – this deep level of understanding helps form genuine relationships. 

Are you interested in understanding how to support teams to create and experience ‘Flow’ together rather than in isolation? Join the CIPD Sussex Seminar: Team Flow to find out more! 

CIPD Sussex Seminar: Team Flow