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Good Human Resource Management is all about relationships. When I talk to my kids about the importance and value to them personally in building strong and healthy relationships, I liken it to managing your personal finances or bank account. We have discussions like — does your friend treat you as well as you treat them? Do they support you in good times as well as in bad? Do you ensure that both your interests are balanced when making decisions about what to do? Your personal and workplace relationships are exactly the same. If you take, take, take at work and yet don’t give anything in return, it’s likely that your relationships will suffer as a result. This leads to disengagement, disgruntlement, and often workplace conflict. We all know what happens to your bank account if you keep making withdrawals and don’t make any deposits — your account will end up in deficit. In my view, healthy relationships exist when parties to the relationship give and take what they need in reasonable equal measures. For example, the employer who repeatedly gives opportunities for an employee to have flexibility to attend non-work related appointments or attend a family event during work hours (because they are fair and respect the needs of their team member to balance family and work commitments), might be a bit disappointed if that same employee, who has enjoyed that flexibility, refuses to do reasonable additional tasks or is unwilling to stay behind to assist in finishing a project. Equally, the employee who has worked additional hours, or who never takes unplanned leave and has passionately worked hard for the employer, will feel the same disappointment in the working relationship if their request for flexibility is denied. All relationships take time, care and personal commitment to keep them in a healthy balance. The more effort and time you commit to putting into your relationships, the more you will get back. In the workplace, healthy relationship benefits are plentiful, not just

relationships?

between the employer and employee but between colleagues as well. Team members who have a mutual trust and respect, and who have built healthy workplace relationships, can work collaboratively and productively, reducing inefficiencies and workplace conflict. KEY ELEMENTS FOR A HEALTHY, BALANCED WORKING RELATIONSHIP:

•  Communication — good relationships depend and rely on open, honest and effective communication. •  Mutual Respect — value each person’s ideas and input. Work together on solutions to issues based on both sets of views and opinions. When making decisions in the workplace that affect others, ensure you include them in the discussions and consider their views. •  Trust — if you trust each other, you can have honest discussions as you have formed a strong bond. Don’t ever breach trust given to you and always keep your confidences. •  Being Mindful — you are individually responsible for your own actions and choice of words. •  Equality/Fairness — make sure you focus on maintaining a fair and balanced scorecard with your relationships. Don’t take more than you give! •  Don’t make assumptions — people aren’t mind readers; be clear and articulate about what you want in a kind, professional and courteous way. •  Appreciation — always be grateful and acknowledge those around you for their contribution to the working relationship. m

Michalle Faulkner, EastCoast HR

Michalle Faulkner knows people. In fact she bases her business on it! As a business owner herself, she can relate to the struggles and demands on your time when it comes to managing staff. A highly sought-after HR consultant and expert in human resources, Michalle believes: “invest in your people, increase your profit”.

www.bmmag.com.au

95 HR MATTERS

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