The joy is in the getting there. The beginning years of starting your business, the camaraderie when you’re in the pit together, are the best years of your life. So rather than being so focused on when you get big and powerful, if you can just get the juice out of that… don’t miss it.
There are countless studies that prove social interaction greatly contributes to your health. It helps you deal with stress better, strengthens your immune system, improves cognitive ability, and can even help you live longer. Integrating social interaction into the workplace will yield better results for your business.
The benefits of encouraging camaraderie in the office are significant.
Employees who regularly gather together trust each other more, which contributes to better teamwork. It also makes them more loyal to the business as a whole. Camaraderie strengthens communications within a team, and these all contribute to the bottom line of the organization.
Today, we rely more on electronic communication more than ever before.
This limits face-to-face interaction in offices, which deteriorate communication and thus hurt businesses. We should never underestimate the power of social interaction; you can read more about a key piece of this interaction, becoming a better listener, in the helpful article, Why Not Take the Listening Skills Test. Reducing social communications hinders the flow of innovation and creative ideas as well as preventing people from connecting to the bigger picture.
Here are a few things you can do to improve efficiency through camaraderie in your organization.
1. Plan regular out-of-office activities to help the team unwind and interact.
This will help your team feel more comfortable with each other, especially if you have new members on the team. Getting to know each other outside the workplace will create a better understanding between team members, and can help them work together better back in the office. Out-of-office activities can range from bowling, dinner and drinks, to sports days. Even an office luncheon where no work is discussed will serve.
2. Initiate a schedule for regular staff meetings.
Get everyone involved during meetings, so they can brainstorm and learn problem-solving techniques together while sharing input. You can even have breakout sessions where teams are broken down into smaller groups, reinforcing more intimate discussion. This will help each person bring out their individual strengths and contribute to the discussions.
3. Brief your team about the importance of camaraderie.
Let employees know how important it is to the health of the organization as well as for each individual to work together seamlessly. This means getting along well in and out of the workplace. If one of your team members has conflict with someone in the office, be the mediator and help them resolve matters as amicably as possible.
4. Provide regular training sessions lead by one person in your team periodically.
With any change in a modern organization, there will be one person who has adapted much faster than everyone else. Highlight that individual’s strength by having them train the rest of the team, familiarizing everyone with the business subject better. This will help your team learn to communicate and learn with each other, but be sure everyone gets a chance to train.
5. Stock up on the snack drawer in the kitchenette.
This sounds simple, but it will engage your team in more ways than one. It will encourage conversations at the office when one or more are taking in a quick break. The kitchenette is one of the places your team can gather and have a chat. A snack drawer means that they don’t have to step out of the office if they want to eat and talk.
You may or may not have had experience working in a dysfunctional office environment full of politicking and backstabbing. This is the type of working environment that nobody enjoys, and as a manager or leader it’s your job to prevent it from the outset.
A healthy and happy work environment where employees can interact with one another will result in better work output. Friendly employees will lead to better retention rates, because people will want to stay in their jobs longer. Better retention rates translate to savings for your company, avoiding the high costs involved with hiring and training new employees.
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