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Helping your child develop relationships at work

A parents guide to helping their children develop relationships at work


One of the key reasons that employees leave their role is because of bad relationships with their boss and/or co-workers.
The following information aims to help you as a parent support your child to develop strong, meaningful and positive relationships at work.

Five ways to help your children build relationships at work:
 

  1. Encourage them to respect others

 
One of the biggest challenges for many Generation Y children when they move into the workforce is that they often go from being encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions at home, to being in a workplace that doesn’t welcome such openness immediately by new starters. This can be challenging for many new employees.
 
Talk to your children about what they are experiencing at work, and encourage them to show respect to their
new colleagues. This doesn’t mean they can’t share opinions, but it does mean they need to be sensitive to the experience that others have.
 
You can encourage your child to show respect but maintain curiosity by:
 

  • Asking people they work with about what work was like when they started.
  • Asking people at work what it was like when they started out.
  • Asking people at work what they like about their job.
  • Use manners and go above and beyond in all tasks.
 
  1. Communicate with their employer
We know that successful employees have strong support systems and open communication between the employer, employee and support person. You can create good communication by:
 
  • Making an effort to get to know your child’s employer.
  • Talk to your child about what they enjoy and what they find challenging about work.
  • Treat your child like an adult when it comes to their working arrangements; make them responsible for getting up on time, having lunch and clean clothes etc.
 
  1. Be positive about their job
Bad moods are contagious and so are bad attitudes. The best performing work teams are five times more positive than they are negative, so even if your child has a bad day, it’s important that you do your best to point out the positives and help your child be realistic in what they are observing. This includes:

 

  • If they do one thing wrong, it doesn’t mean everything will go wrong.
  • Help them not to lose their temper; if they feel angry at work, encourage them to take a five minute break and start again.
  • Encourage them to remember the big picture; if they have a bad day or feel like they’re not coping, remind them that this is a journey and once it’s over they’ll be a qualified tradesperson forever.
 
  1. Ask questions about work
While we know that teenagers are often known for their one word answers, invest time in getting to know what they are doing at work, what they are working on and with whom. The more you can coach and mentor them about what they are doing at work, the more supported they will feel. Ask questions about:
 
  • Where they are working.
  • Who they are working with and what they like about each of those people.
  • What each of their colleagues is good at.
  • What they have learnt from their colleagues each day.
 
  1. Share your own work stories
Let your child know that any job is hard. Talk to them about when you started work, what it was like for you then, and what it’s like now. If you have a bad day at work, share that with them, but tell them also how you coped with it and what you did to get through it. For example:
 
  • I had such a hard day because of x, I guess it’s just part of their personality – I’m sure tomorrow will be better.
  • I feel so tired because I had to work late all week; hopefully next week will be different


Register to download this free guide to helping your child develop strong, meaningful relationships at work.

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