Foster great relationships to build a successful business

Relationships are something we all experience whether that’s on a personal or business level; have you wondered why they are so important? Within today’s competitive and interconnected business environment, relationships can make or break an organisation. They foster growth, innovation and sustainability; so, it’s important to understand how to create effective relationships and that different stakeholders require different interactions – often making relationships fluid. Below we have outlined steps needed to help build great relationships.


Identify where to build relationships

Creating a communication channel to build relationships with stakeholders is the first step. Within organisations some relationships simply happen due to factors such as location, personalities, and business activities, whilst other less obvious relationships need to be developed. Identifying where to fill in these gaps and which staff are best placed to support relationship building, is critical. For example, managers creating a close relationship with individual cleaners can help management understand what’s required to be better at their job. It’s, therefore, important to create relationships at different organisational levels (internally and externally) as conservations will vary based on different perspectives. This diverse knowledge ensures a business is maximising the benefits from relationships.

Provide tools for effective communication

We all communicate, but have you considered how good you are? It may seem an odd question; however, how we listen and respond to others defines our relationships. Take listening; we all listen or so we believe, however, many of us listen with preconceptions and biases which create blocks to hearing what others say. So, the next step is to provide employees with the right tools to develop strong communication skills. Using our listening example, training to support active listening (or truly hearing) will help to open up a new dynamic for building successful relationships as people appreciate being heard and understood. Transparency in our communication may also seem obvious but how we present an issue can determine what is believed or not; so, giving employees permission to be completely honest will establish trust, which is important for maintaining strong relationships. Permission to spend quality time with others is another requisite to ensure deeper connections are established, something many employees may not feel comfortable doing during a busy working day.

Build sustainable long-term partnerships

Once the above is in place, your employees will be ready to develop the right relationships with the right people. The final step is to ensure relationships become sustainable. Being consistent is crucial for fostering strong and long-lasting relationships; so, delivering on promises is a must. As is regularly assessing the relationship, addressing concerns, and ensuring values and goals remain aligned. Working on solutions together, that are mutually beneficially, can elevate a relationship towards genuine collaboration which is when innovation can come to life. Building long term sustainable relationships makes it easier to add value, which can provide a competitive advantage for all parties.


Focusing on these steps helps to provide a relationship model destined for success. Inspiring your staff to value relationships helps to nurture them. Investing time and resources into building and strengthening relationships can yield significant benefits, which help to create robust industries. Businesses become effective and efficient, and employees’ well-being and personal development is supported. This delivers customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention across the supply chain. Relationships are important for the day-to-day success of a business, and, during times of crisis, long-term relationships provide valuable support, resources, and assistance that help organisations survive and thrive.

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