Why Relationships with Co-Workers Matter
Last week, the Choice team and our spouses gathered together at Sinking Creek Farm to celebrate our 5th anniversary as a company. We sat around a large farm table, much like families do to celebrate holidays or special events. Except we weren’t pretending to be a big family – we are a family. I listened as my coworkers shared how working for Choice has changed them. I laughed when their husbands told how Choice had changed their own lives, and I cried a lot of happy tears when I realized how blessed I was to be sitting among such an amazing group of people.
Since joining the Choice family almost 8 months ago, I have learned so many things – including relationships truly matter to the women of Choice. And the relationships that we cultivate with one another as coworkers are of utmost importance.
Cultivating relationships makes all the difference.
Another thing I’ve learned from my Choice family is prioritizing relationships with your coworkers doesn’t have to take a lot of effort; in fact, I think it’s something that can be implemented easily. It will just require a little effort from all, as well as dedication from the staff as a whole, under the direction of a committed leader.
In my past career, a leader within the company would always say: “So goes the leader, so goes the team.” She knew if our leaders would model the desired behavior, it would trickle down within the entire team. At Choice, Heather makes it a top priority to cultivate relationships with each of her team members, and by doing so, she creates an environment where relationships between others can flourish, too.
Make time for one another.
I don’t think it’s by chance Heather makes time each month for a monthly team meeting with the entire team and then we all enjoy lunch together afterward. Every month, I look forward to these meetings. Getting an update (professionally and personally) from each of my colleagues means so much to me. I always leave feeling so energized and excited for the month ahead.
We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and momentous occasions together. When you get to walk alongside a team member during their special day, you develop a deeper connection with that person. I know without a doubt, the time, energy and resources spent to make each team member feel celebrated is an investment well worth it.
Support one another.
Personally, I can say I have walked through some pretty difficult days these past 8 months. I have been uncertain about many things, but there is one thing I can always count on: my coworkers. When they ask how I am doing or if they can pray for me, I know it is a genuine concern – they see me, and they want to know and understand me.
Choice Founder Heather Adams summed it up, “Caring for each of my team members outside of the work they do for Choice means that we bring more to our days together than just a list of to dos to check off. We care when someone is sick or going through a challenge. We celebrate milestones and joys with each other. By intentionally pouring into each other, we bring more meaning to our work and the way that we serve – both our teammates and our clients.”
I have been in careers where I worked closely with someone for a length of time, but I knew nothing about them personally. I probably couldn’t tell you their spouses’ names, let alone their goals, dreams and plans for the future. I didn’t know birthdays or if they were going through a challenging season.
This type of relationship within the workplace is not necessarily harmful, but there is no depth. If and when things become difficult or trying, there is no sense of camaraderie. Instead of collaboration, you might find competition.
Kerry, Choice Director of Publicity, said it best: “Because we have a strong relationship and respect each other, collaboration and communication always come first. We are always, always rooting for each other, celebrating each other and are not jealous of each other’s success. This also means we can come to the table with open ears and minds during hard conversations and discuss tough matters respectfully and with the understanding that we aren’t criticizing, but trying to solve a problem.”
Increase your quality of life.
Above all, I truly believe that my quality of life has increased dramatically since joining the Choice team. In my previous job, relationships with those within the company were surface level. Instead of feeling like I was a part of a team, I felt like I was on an island by myself. Whenever I faced a problem or obstacle, I didn’t believe I had support or encouragement of my coworkers. That may not have been the truth, but it was what I believed, because in all honesty, I didn’t know otherwise.
Since becoming a member of the Choice team (and truly feeling like I am a part of a team), my productivity has increased drastically. I have been able to set attainable goals for myself, as well as venture into some other areas of interest. My self confidence has been on the rise, and this has created a ripple effect within my entire family. I no longer feel like I’m on an island – I know wholeheartedly I have the support and encouragement of a great team.
And all of these great benefits have become a part of my life because relationships are important to Choice. If we just chose to be work colleagues and just do work life together day after day, I don’t think I would be in the position I am today. Every bit of work is 100% worth it.
So tell us, why do you think relationships with coworkers matter?