by Jonathan Jones
I always notice a lot of enthusiasm in businesses that have regular social events and happy hours for their staffs. It’s hard to stress too much the importance of having fun and getting to know your coworkers outside the daily grind by hosting a company picnic or other social event.
By spending time with staff members in a social setting, managers can learn more about their employees as individuals and expand their ability to manage their teams effectively. One of the best ways to show employees you care is to ask them questions about themselves and their families, hobbies, and other interests. Furthermore, it’s common for spontaneous problem solving to occur when employees from various departments share and bond.
According to Gallup, employee engagement levels increase by a factor of three when their managers promote workplace friendships in a good light. Employees who have personal relationships with coworkers are more likely to give their all on the job, as they will not want to let down their friends in the office. It is more fun to work with people you like and satisfy our fundamental human urge to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves.
Additionally, other methods exist to foster productive employee relationships that don’t require managerial direction. Casual potlucks or chili cook-offs are a great way to relax and mingle. Design your company’s lunch and break rooms to encourage informal communication during the workday.
The secret is to foster a work environment where people feel comfortable talking to one another and developing meaningful relationships with their coworkers. Try scheduling a happy hour. You may find it to be the best and most productive meeting your organization has ever had.
Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.email@example.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.