How to Build Rapport with New Colleagues

January 27, 2021


As a working professional, new people will come and go from your work world often. You’ll meet a slew of new people when you start a new job, but you will also be introduced to new colleagues as people move in and out of roles. Starting off on the right foot is important, but it’s wise to recognize employees bring with them experience in different industries, teams structures, and company cultures. Building a rapport with your new workmates is key to good working relationships and teamwork, which will make you all more efficient and your efforts more fruitful. To help you get along well with your new colleagues, here are a few tips on how you can build rapport and create valuable relationships with new workmates.

1. Establish a Common Ground

The first step to building a connection with your new colleagues is identifying common ground. These may be shared values, hobbies, or interests. You can also capitalize on your professional background or experiences to forge a connection with the staff in your department. By establishing a common ground, you can easily strike conversations on the subjects that you have a common interest in or can relate to. By doing this, you make it easier to connect with your new colleagues.

2. Practice Courtesy and Listen to Your Colleagues

Simple courtesy and good communication habits will help you create rapport much faster with your new colleagues and open doors to excellent working relationships. Take time to reach out with simple courtesy like offering greetings and asking how their day was. Being friendly will draw your workmates to you and encourage valuable relationships.

Also, always listen to what your colleagues talk about, be it business or personal matters. Doing so helps you get a better understanding of your workmates which is necessary when building a rapport. Study how the employees in your new workplace communicate, whether through email, one on one conversations, or text messages. Doing so allows you to communicate effectively and build rapport with your new workmates.

3. Be Authentic about Yourself

Always maintain your authenticity and be true to who you are instead of forcing conversations and interests. What’s more, it will only take a short time before your colleagues realize it. Your new colleagues will appreciate your authenticity and connect with you for who you are. If you realize that your interests do not align with those of your new colleagues, you can focus on the simpler attributes and being friendly to create a rapport. Alternatively, you may find your differences make it even easier to nurture workplace relationships as you provide each other a breath of fresh air, and much to discuss.

4. Spend Time with Your New Colleagues

If you just got into a new workplace, it may be to keep to yourself as you get to learn the company’s culture and adapt to the new environment. However, this only draws you apart from your new colleagues, making it difficult to build connections with them. To create a rapport, make a point of spending personal time with your new workmates. Take advantage of lunch-hour breaks to strike up one-on-one conversations with your new colleagues instead of only communicating online.

If you are a new manager, scheduling face-to-face sessions with your new employees helps you know them better. Ask about your employees’ goals, why they are in the company, and even what they enjoy or don’t enjoy about their work and working environment. This gives you a clue about the adjustments you may need to implement to enhance employee satisfaction and productivity.

You don’t have to only meet during work hours. You can also have an honest conversation outside work hours as it encourages authenticity and helps you know your colleagues at a deeper and more personal level. Whether it is going for coffee or sharing a meal, connecting outside the work environment is a great way to create rapport and improve working relationships.

5. Embrace Teamwork and Offer Help

You can create a rapport with your new colleagues by embracing teamwork and offering a helping hand whenever you can. Not only does working in a team help you connect better with your new workmates, but it also drives productivity and efficiency. If you are a manager, including your staff in decision making and other crucial company activities that you would otherwise complete alone allows you to create good working relationships.

Offer a helping hand to your workmates whenever you can to build a rapport. When you offer help and extend kind gestures to your colleagues, you show your interest in bettering your workplace relationships. It also shows that you care about others and are more concerned with teamwork than the competition. The help you render may come back to you in the future and turn around negative perceptions about you.

Note that you don't have to best of friends with your colleagues. However, having good relationships with those you work with makes it easier to carry out your professional duties, achieve company and personal goals, and boost your career.

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