“Teamwork is not a virtue. It is a choice—and a strategic one.”― Patrick Lencioni

The relationships we build with our work mates is a reflection of who we are and the value we place on being a part of the team. It is impossible to create connection, understanding, trust or deliver measurable value within a team if we are not consciously investing in creating and maintaining healthy working relationships. 

After 14 months of hybrid or remote working, it’s fair to say that many of us are struggling with burnout, fatigue and still trying to navigate boundaries around work and life when both are happening within the same four walls day after day. Our jobs have more influence over us than many other aspects of our lives and it was one of the first things employees worried about when the pandemic started. Our work and the way in which we do that work with others, will continue to be a priority for many people.

Working with colleagues and coworkers virtually makes it much harder to address teamwork in the same way. Conflict and misalignment on goals within a team can happen quickly in the absence of a healthy working relationship. Investing in relationships and delivering value are 2 key ways you can safeguard connection and productivity for yourself and your team.

Invest in Relationships

“48% of senior managers say maintaining morale has been challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic” – Robert Half

Relationships are like bank accounts. When we make regular investments in them, over time they usually grow and produce positive returns. Maintaining good morale requires the same investment. It’s important for leaders and employees to recognize that collectively, we each have a responsibility to move our teams forward through the changes we’re experiencing in our work. See each conversation, email or meeting as an investment in the other person, the team and the work to be done. Invest in relationships by:

  • Connecting –  connect with at least one team member each day. Even if you’re busy, schedule a quick email or call. The small investment of time and care will pay off.
  • Appreciation – recognize something a colleague or co-worker has done recently. It’s a powerful way to help your colleagues feel seen and connected to the team.

Deliver Value

Positive work relationships are underpinned by many things such as respect, cooperation, competence, etc. Consistently delivering value to others you work with is also a great way to build and maintain meaningful work relationships. Think about the last time you purchased a product or service that you were really happy with. What made you happy about that product or service? It’s likely that it solved a problem for you by giving you some sort of freedom, such as more time or helped you meet an urgent or long-standing need. 

Doesn’t it feel great to have access to something that is of high quality and brings value to us? Delivering value to those we work with is a great way to create connection and trust. You can deliver value in your work by:

  • Being Approachable – be the person on the team who is open to suggestions and possibilities even if you don’t always agree with them. People like working with others who are open to the ideas of others. 
  • Sharing Your Skills – offer one thing you are really good at to help someone on your team. Maybe you’ve got great time management hacks for working from home that you can share or you’ve figured out how to run multiple breakout rooms on the virtual work space. Sharing what you know will help others. Most people can manage their own work, but knowing others on the team are there to support and lend a hand creates and strengthens relationships. 

Our ability to build and maintain relationships at work is more important than ever as we continue to work at a physical distance from one another. Be strategic. Decide how you will deliver value to your colleagues right now and invest in your relationships with your team at work.

Pauline Greenidge

Pauline Greenidge is an HR Consultant and Chartered Professional in Human Resources. She empowers others to create positive employee experiences. Her book A Grand Dinner Party is available on and

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