By Joey Dowell, Vice President, Environmental Services, Healthcare

Business interactions can be robotic in nature. But when it comes to contracting services, such as housekeeping or culinary, it’s important to add an element of humanity into the transaction. The secret to any successful partnership lies in the relationships that are built between collaborators. At the end of the day, we are all people working together to achieve goals and overcome challenges. Through my experience starting up multiple new partnerships on behalf of HHS, I’ve found it extremely impactful to uphold and maintain these three areas to create healthy and long lasting business relationships.

Build a Mutual Support Network 

Relationships must be mutually beneficial for them to succeed. If one partner is giving everything and receiving nothing in return, it can create a dysfunctional and toxic environment. Therefore, partners in business should mutually support each other to guarantee positive outcomes that benefit both parties. Organizations should not approach partnerships aiming to get whatever they can out of them, but rather the goal should be to work together to achieve mutual success. This business model truly offers a healthy perspective to partner and support service relationships. 

Set Expectations Together 

Vendor services and partner relationships are not a one time transaction. They require continual work to ensure product offerings are meeting each other’s needs. When developing a lasting company relationship, it’s important to take in the expectations of the other party. By starting off understanding the expectations of the partnership, both organizations will be able to hold each other accountable to their promises. This creates credibility and trust within the partnership. For example, when starting a new housekeeping account, I work with our partner facility to align goals so that we can provide a quality service that meets their needs from day one. Those goals may change overtime, so being adaptable will ensure smooth processes. 

Open the Lines of Communication

Communication is critical to any business partnership. Maintaining quality relationships depends on ensuring issues and changes are communicated in a timely manner. The best business relationships address challenges together to provide solutions. Building solid communication with partners reveals integrity and trust between both parties. The more communication there is, the more likely that both organizations will be mutually satisfied with the partnership. 

Partnerships are not one sided. They take work and diligence from both parties to ensure their success for the future. It’s critical for any business-to-business partnership to maintain a human element in their interactions. Business relationships are about equally investing and understanding each others’ objectives. When this is achieved, healthy and long lasting partnerships are created and maintained.