You spend about 50 per cent of your time at your workplace. Isn’t it important, then, to not just work well with your colleagues, but also build great relationships with them?

Many people take workplace relationships for granted. They don’t see the need to go out of their way to get to know colleagues better.

It is common to hear someone saying: “No, he’s not my friend — he’s just a colleague.”

The truth is, you can transform the way you work and the results of your performance by focusing on building rewarding relationships with your teammates, customers and contacts. Here are the 3Cs:

1. Communication

Today’s high-tech communication tools save us lots of time and make us more effective, but it is important not to forget that these new forms of interaction must complement rather than replace the human touch and the process of building relationships.

Sure, technology is great, but you cannot fax a handshake and you definitely can’t e-mail a pat on the back.

In today’s work environment, people are seeing and speaking with their colleagues less and less, preferring to send e-mail than to stop by and ask for some information in person — even when they are just sitting a few desks away!

Effective communication in the workplace will minimise misunderstandings among colleagues, thus maximising work efficiency.

When there are communication breakdowns at work, you spend time and energy trying to make amends.

Never discount the importance of face-to-face and telephone communication when it comes to building and maintaining working relationships.

These allow for a higher level of communication than e-mail. Besides receiving information, you and your colleagues also get to share ideas and feedback through interacting with each other.

With face-to-face communication, it is easier to ask for clarification to clear up misunderstandings.

You can also observe the person’s tone of voice and facial expressions, which are absent in e-mail.

Managing healthy and interactive communication at the workplace not only increases understanding but also leads to a happier and less stressful working environment.

2. Commitment

No one wants a lazy and unproductive member on the team who will drag down everyone’s morale and work efficiency.

Your colleagues will respect you if you build a reputation for honouring your word and your commitments.

Doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, is the best way to begin to deepen your relationships and raise the level of your personal credibility among those whom you serve and work with.

Success in business, and in life, lies in the smallest follow-through.

However strong and noble your intentions are, if you can’t deliver on your commitments, you will not be on anyone’s appreciation list.

If you are managing a team, acknowledge when a job is well done with a simple “thank you” and lots of praise. This will brighten up your team members’ day when they know that you appreciate their efforts.

3. Contact grooming

Workplace relationships are important because they take you places. Treat your colleagues and bosses well, and leave a good impression.

Go the extra mile for people because when you find yourself in situations where you need to reach out for useful contacts, these people are likely to return the favour and aid you.

Even after you leave for another company, your reputation and the relationships that you have built will remain.

So make sure you hand over your duties in a professional manner because if your colleagues know someone in your new company, they could jeopardise your success there by spreading the word that you are not to be trusted.

When you resign on good terms, it is also easier to ask your boss or colleagues for referrals and testimonials that will boost your resumé. It is much better to leave a place with great memories and intact relationships than knowing that your colleagues can’t wait to see the last of you.