Recognise This! – Not only do good relationships at work boost engagement, they also help us live longer!

That’s right. Gallup has included close relationships at work as an important measure of engagement for years. Now research out of Tel Aviv University proves those relationships can also reduce the risk of premature death.

Gallup’s own research has also shown the impact of relationships on well-being in the workplace. Some key research findings (quoting):

    * Actively disengaged employees are considerably more likely than engaged employees to say they felt stressed for much of the day — a finding that has implications for physical and emotional health.
    * Almost all engaged employees — 95% — say they were treated with respect all day compared to about 74% of actively disengaged employees.
    * Perhaps most alarmingly, actively disengaged employees are twice as likely as those who are engaged to say they experienced anger for much of the previous day – 27% vs. 14%, respectively. Anger in the workplace is a major concern, as it disrupts productivity and can lead to aggressive behaviour that puts coworkers at risk.

That last point shouldn’t be glossed over quickly. Aside from the obvious implications for employee safety, anger in the workplace disrupts productivity for anyone within the sphere of influence of the person “experiencing anger.” Such a strong emotion is pervasive and causes people to withdraw from interactions that could lead to innovations.

How do you build positive relationships at work, especially if employees are busy and focussed on “getting the job done?” By encouraging them to lift their heads up and notice the excellent work going on around them every day – and then encouraging them to express their appreciation and gratitude to co-workers for their contributions and achievements.

Such positive interactions – actively encouraged and promoted by leadership – lead to positive relationships and increased productivity based on scientifically proven desire to help those who appreciate you.

What’s the atmosphere in your office? Anger and fear or appreciation and gratitude?