Not all relationships have to be complicated—especially in business. While some attachments aren’t meant to last, forging strong connections can be life changing. The key to making any relationship survive the long haul is to ensure both parties mutually benefit from the partnership.
To be sure any relationship can surpass the test of time (even beyond deriving value from it), you must start by building trust. Of course, trust can mean many different things to many different people. At Oxford, we believe that showing up, staying true to your word, listening, and responding to someone else’s needs lays the foundation for a lasting union.
Why Are Strong Relationships Important to Oxford?
Relationship building is vital to business building. Excellent professional relationships—those that are valued, nurtured, and protected—can generate quality word-of-mouth referrals that lead to more business opportunities and establish an ever-growing resource. The stronger the relationship, the more loyal those on either side of the social contract are, and the more beneficial for everyone.
How Do We Build Strong Relationships at Oxford?
Our widespread network of clients and superior talent didn’t appear overnight. We have dedicated years to building relationships. At Oxford, our team is committed to first-class support and proactive recruiting. We take the time to listen to our clients’ and consultants’ needs so that we can address problems effectively, identify challenges speedily, match business professionals appropriately, and resolve issues efficiently.
Our clients trust our Account Managers to provide the right resources, and our consultants trust our Recruiters to find them the best opportunities. That trust solidifies our credibility in the industry and leads to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships—which is what we value most.
We have gotten to this point by adopting the following values, skills, and daily habits:
People appreciate authenticity. The more genuine you are, the quicker you can establish trust. At Oxford, we believe it’s essential for our clients and consultants to see our humanity, and we want to see theirs, too. Of course, business is at the center of the transactional relationship—but at our core, we are individuals with personal lives and perspectives. Typically, our character drives our intentions and actions and determines how we respond to external circumstances or stimuli. Therefore, for longevity in relationships, it’s necessary to know who you’re working with as a whole person or entity.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of a person or organization ensures that values align and expectations will be adequately met.
Listening leads to understanding. When we listen, we show respect and empathy, relaying that we genuinely care about your needs. Professional and personal interactions must benefit all parties involved. If we solely focus on what we want to get out of the relationship, we neglect those who help make us successful. Therefore, we want to know how we can help you!
To be an effective listener and communicator, it’s essential to know the difference between simply hearing someone and actively listening to them. Active listening involves engagement and true participation in the process or conversation. It is intentional, consistent, and involves making eye contact, being attentive, showing interest, and asking relevant questions. Finally, listening means following through, which validates the other person’s perspective, feelings, thoughts, needs, and goals—keeping them coming back to you as an operative solution to negative or difficult situations, knowing you can navigate difficult conversations.
To show someone you care, you need to be present and open to growth—that’s standard for any relationship, and it doesn’t change in business. However, being accessible is not just about showing up when needed. It’s also about committing to the relationship or partnership between projects or assignments.
Oxford makes it a priority to schedule regular times to connect with our clients and consultants, continually cultivating our affiliations so that those we partner with know we’re still around and available to help them out of a tight spot on short notice. Additionally, we want those we work with to know we genuinely care about their development and success.
When immersed in a business relationship, you gain a sincere appreciation for what your business partner does, meaning you become truly interested in their personal, professional, and organizational goals. Achievements are shared across the board when you’re consistently present and willing to lend or receive a hand (because others have valuable insight and ideas, too). Everybody is getting a “lift” in the transaction.
It’s crucial to stay in touch but connecting is more than simply reaching out. To persist, all relationships require continual maintenance. To thrive, though, regular check-ins must be accompanied by genuine connection. Oxford knows that professional relationships need more than surface-level conversation to forge a lasting, equally favorable, advantageous bond.
Professional speaker and best-selling author John C. Maxwell (known primarily for his impact in the leadership realm) defines true connection or the act of connecting as “…the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.” In other words, connecting is about more than communicating a message. Instead, it involves communicating emotion.
In part, connecting relates to transparency—it requires being honest, open, and vulnerable. People need to know you before they can formulate a true connection with you. Beyond your words, connecting consists of body language, tone, behavior, actions, attitude, intellect, appearance, and timing. It gets to the bottom of who you are—what you think, feel, and believe. It reveals your emotions and mindset and lets others know where they stand with you and whether they even want to stand beside you.
Strong relationships don’t happen overnight. Building a business relationship worth having is a bit of an investment, but one that pays well when done right! Additionally, there’s no stamp of completion on establishing a solid relationship. It can take a considerable amount of time to create a trusting relationship that endures, and you will need to work to maintain it even once you’ve made it to that point.
Oxford cherishes its integrity as an organization and will only hire, recruit, and work with individuals who share the same upstanding character and a desire to see all accomplish their personal and professional goals. Oxford strives to add value to both our consultants and our clients. In addition, we are constantly searching for ways to show appreciation to those who help this company and others prosper, evolve, and, ultimately, succeed.
Practice makes perfect, and we’ve had a lot of time over the past several decades to perfect our process and purpose. Together, we will work alongside you, applying the same time and patience to shape the type of “strong relationship” needed to help you accomplish great things!
Oxford’s “Strong Relationships” in Practice
“It is the individuals that make me want to do business with this company.” – Director of Engineering
At Oxford, our clients, consultants, and employees come first—it’s why we do what we do every single day. We don’t just want to close transactions. Instead, we aim to build relationships and ensure the people we work with know that. That’s why we value what they say and continually gather feedback to guarantee we’re consistently practicing what we preach.
Finally, we look to our results to promote our belief in strong relationships. Having worked with various people and organizations for lengthy periods, we’ve seen the positive outcomes those relationships can yield. For example, one of our clients in the food and beverage industry worked with us for over a decade on multiple projects requiring SAP and SAP WMS skills. Oxford provided them with more than 260 expert consultants throughout those ten years, ensuring they could complete each initiative successfully.
Partner With Oxford for a Lasting Relationship & Long-Term Solutions
We’re not just another staffing firm. We are a compilation of some of the brightest minds in the industry, partnering with clients to identify and drive initiatives that produce positive results that catapult your business forward. Oxford considers itself a network of people working together to solve problems. We want to continually connect with others, build long-lasting relationships, and achieve successful outcomes.
If you want to partner with an organization that genuinely cares about getting to know you and your needs and will work hard to meet those needs and maintain a connection with you to continue to drive results or harvest your growth, then we want to hear from you! We are waiting eagerly to make your acquaintance and turn a conversation into a strong relationship that benefits all.