Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.

Great Leaders Know Change Does Not End Great Relationships

May 16, 2024 Russel Lolacher - leadership and workplace relationship advocate Episode 159
Great Leaders Know Change Does Not End Great Relationships
Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
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Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
Great Leaders Know Change Does Not End Great Relationships
May 16, 2024 Episode 159
Russel Lolacher - leadership and workplace relationship advocate

In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher asks us to maintain relationships even through significant change.

Change is a part of the work world, whether it's as big as a merger or reorganization of a company or as traditional as moving teams or getting a new job. Great leaders understand that relationships are integral to the employee experience so we have to keep nurturing those connections even if our environments change. Russel provides real-world examples of what we can do to ensure our relationships at work remain strong and resilient in the workplace. Join us as we discuss. 

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.

For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher asks us to maintain relationships even through significant change.

Change is a part of the work world, whether it's as big as a merger or reorganization of a company or as traditional as moving teams or getting a new job. Great leaders understand that relationships are integral to the employee experience so we have to keep nurturing those connections even if our environments change. Russel provides real-world examples of what we can do to ensure our relationships at work remain strong and resilient in the workplace. Join us as we discuss. 

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.

For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Welcome back to Relationships At Work – the leadership mindset guide for creating a workplace we love.  I’m your host Russel Lolacher

I’m a communications and leadership nerd with a couple of decades of experience and a heap of curiosity on how we can make the workplace better. If you’re a leader trying to understand and improve your impact on work culture and the employee experience, you’re in the right place.

This mini-episode is a quick and valuable bit of information on top of our regular show. The topic of this episode… 

Reorgs Don’t End Great Relationships

 Change is a part of work. Whether we like it, hate it, embrace it or begrudge it, it happens. And with that comes a change in who we meet with, talk to and see every day. Though that's normal, it's a big test for leaders in proving how valuable, meaningful and strong their network is.

Relationships at work are key for career development, new opportunities, support, collaboration, job satisfaction, engagement and on and on. And we need to invest in those relationships, regardless of obstacles like reorgs, to ensure they provide that value.

I understand we get busy in new roles – lots of learning, lots of trying to understand the new gig, lots of figuring out who we need to build new connections with. 

But this also falls into one of my seven deadly sins of leaders – the sin of negligence aka of being too busy. If we are too busy to continue to connect and nurture work relationships that are no longer as obvious, as convenient or basically easy, then how important were they ever to begin with?
 If we only care about relationships when we need something, then people feel like commodities and a means to an end. Not colleagues.

Think about any friends (in airquotes) you’ve had that only called you when they needed something. How eager are you to help them, be curious about them or want to maintain a connection? Me? Not at all. 

So let’s be better than that. When we’re in a change, whether we had any control over it or not, here are a few things to consider to ensure we don't lose those connections:

Acknowledge the Change: Addressing the "elephant in the room" and noting things will be different is important. That you'll miss those regular interactions.   Discussing the reorg openly can also dispel rumors, reduce anxiety, and keep that connection.

Regular /Random Check-ins: I do this one a lot. Even if you no longer work directly with certain colleagues, make an effort to check in periodically. This can be through informal coffee breaks, lunches, or scheduled meetings. Or birthdays. Or you were just thinking of them.

Networking Events: Participate in or organize internal networking events. This allows us to connect more socially with different departments or teams so we can have that in-person time - interacting, sharing updates, and just enjoying the time.

Professional Development: Encourage and participate in professional development opportunities that you can both enjoy. Attending workshops, seminars, or conferences together can reinforce those relationships and provide shared learning experiences (even if it's a bad experience, it's something you do together)

If we don't make the effort to maintain relationships, were they really important to begin with? Or did we just take them for granted?

So take a moment, and think about those you’ve lost contact with because of a reorg, or maybe because you changed jobs or moved to another organization. My call to action for you, reach out and say hi. Reconnect. Be curious. 

Relationships matter. So does the effort we need to take to keep them.