How To Build Better Business Relationships With Your Team
Building a strong business means building strong business relationships — starting with your team. But just as having a great idea for a business is not the same as bringing that idea to life, hiring a team does not magically make you a great leader.
In the post-COVID new normal, you may face the added challenge of connecting with your team remotely, or you may be adjusting to sharing office space again. Either way, a positive relationship dynamic between team members is crucial for productivity.
So what can an entrepreneur do to build stronger connections among their team?
Below, we’ve gathered four strategies from the successful entrepreneurs of YEC to help you become a great business relationship manager.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” — Dale Carnegie, author, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Be an example of the behavior you want to see
“Be an example of the behavior you want to see from your team.” — YEC member Jared Atchison, co-founder, WPForms
Be a “do as I do” kind of leader. Set the tone with your attitude and behavior.
As an entrepreneur, you are the face of your company to both the outside world and your internal team. Your behavior, tone, and attitude will spread to those around you. Authority bias — people’s tendency to imitate authority figures — is a tool that you can use to your advantage if you are conscious of it. If you want respect, trust, and camaraderie, model those behaviors.
“Respect for each other’s time, space, and work-life balance are essential to maintaining a good company culture.” — YEC member John Rampton, founder, Calendar
Show respect to your employees, and insist that they show respect to one another.
To build better business relationships, start with basic kindness and courtesy, and establish a zero-tolerance policy for rude or belittling behavior. Then take it further. Establish some guidelines that help employees respect one another’s time and focus. Start and finish meetings on time. Consider setting aside interruption-free time for “deep work” across the company; even an hour or two each day can contribute significantly to productive output.
Get to know your employees personally
“Deepening relationships with employees is crucial in creating a positive workplace culture, both in person and for remote teams.” — YEC member Tyler Bray, CEO, TK Trailer Parts
Take time, and make the effort, to get to know your employees on a one-to-one basis.
Whether you walk through an office full of your employees every day, or are part of a virtual company, get to know your people. Find out what they’re excited about, both at work and in their personal lives. Folks in an office have this a little easier due to the opportunity to stop by someone’s desk or bump into them in the hallway. But virtual teams can make the most of social chat channels or virtual games and activities to establish human touchpoints.
Trust your people
“Build an envelope of trust. It gives your team a sense of comfort that encourages everyone to be themselves, to agree or disagree with confidence, and help build a work environment that makes everyone feel safe and protected.” — YEC member Swapnil Shinde, CEO and co-founder, Zeni
If you can’t trust your people, you’ve got the wrong people. If you have the right people — people who are intelligent and committed — you should be able to not just say you trust them, but demonstrate trust through the policies you put in place.
Share information about what the business is doing and where it’s going. Eliminate timesheets. Avoid micromanagement; give your teams clear direction, and set them free to work. Given the creative freedom, your people will come up with great ideas for you.
The relationship between entrepreneurship and business management is a tricky one. As your team grows, you have to think about more than just developing your product and raising money. You also set the tone for the company culture, especially when it comes to communication style and building business relationships.
Start by setting the tone for everyone with your own presence. Be respectful. Make an effort to get to know people personally. And finally, trust your team.
Want more insight into building business relationships among your team and other ways to strengthen your company culture? Download “The Young Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Checklist: Building a Company Culture That Supports Your Vision” and start implementing 19 great ideas that have worked for YEC’ers.