For many working professionals, the workplace is like a second family. And even though remote working has put a damper on the process, many workers today still think of the workplace as the place to create lifelong relationships and forge friendships.
That’s why many companies today are enabling and encouraging workplace bonding. It has now become an essential part of the organization’s culture. It significantly improves employee satisfaction and is critical to an organization’s retention plan.
Furthermore, since today’s hectic lifestyle leaves very little time for self-rejuvenation, workplace bonding can help reduce worker burnout and allow employees to improve their work-life balance.
Here’s how workplace bonding can positively affect workforce morale and improve employee satisfaction.
1. Reduces worker stress
Everyone feels job-related stress once in a while. However, regular stress can be problematic and cause long-term problems. That’s why it’s important to create policies to combat it from an organizational point of view.
Strong interpersonal bonds among teams can enable employees to cope with workplace stress and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, they can also reduce issues related to workforce demotivation and loneliness.
2. Improves overall well-being
Employees that don’t fit into the company’s culture feel social isolation, which can have an adverse effect on their mental and emotional health.
Bonding with fellow coworkers can fix this issue and allow such employees to fit into a company’s culture. In addition, it can also help organizational leaders to build a culture of open communication and optimize employees’ work-life balance. Such organizations see improved communication and efficient collaboration between teams.
3. Increases employee morale
Strong employee relationships can significantly increase team morale and motivate employees to perform better. This increased emotional support instills a feeling of positivity in the team, leading to performance improvements, boosted sense of accomplishment, and increased focus.
Simple social interaction can also improve employees’ sense of control over their working environment. This reduces workplace accidents and creates a relaxed working environment
4. Supports better innovation from existing employees
As mentioned above, interpersonal bonding leads to a relaxed working environment. And in a relaxed working environment, it is easy to accomplish tasks and optimize processes. Employees who don’t feel stressed can easily work on new ideas and derive inspiration from each other. They can also understand complex concepts and work toward simplifying complicated procedures.
Employees who are not overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks can also generate and share business insights, which is another way to increase innovation through auxiliary help. Such ideas can also be patented for substantial financial rewards by the employer.
5. Improves employee-management engagement
Companies with good interpersonal relationships between employees see positive employee-management engagements. Such employees develop trusting relationships with their leaders and work toward a common goal.
A culture of open communication is beneficial to both employees and management. Employees can use the newfound information to understand management perspectives better and grow their careers. The management can use this influx of information for organizational growth and idea brainstorming.
This cannot happen where there is a superficial relationship between the team and management. For this to work, the supervisors and employees must communicate better and share observations.
6. Creates a more helpful working environment
Negative emotions between team members can lead to stress and dysfunction. On the other hand, a team that is built on meaningful employee relationships is motivated to provide guidance and support to its team members. Such team members also share knowledge and experiences with each other.
This is very useful for new joiners since it allows them to access the knowledge and skills of experienced team members for efficient knowledge transfer. In addition, since team members are better suited to understand each other’s emotional requirements than management, they are also better positioned to provide job role–related knowledge and support.
Furthermore, a helpful and engaged team can help team members realize their full potential. Such units can also create better workflows for their department.
7. Increases worker retention
This is one of the most significant advantages of encouraging better relationships between employees. Employees who are friends with each other engage in much more frequent and personal interactions. Such employees use a collaborative approach to working and developing better interpersonal relationships
Since employees with better interpersonal relationships are relaxed and satisfied in their job-role, they continue working for the same organization for many years. This can lead to great retention statistics, significantly lowering business costs.
How do you aid interpersonal relationships between employees?
As a company, creating a culture of interpersonal relationships can be challenging. This change has to start from the root, i.e., employees themselves have to create a working environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing the details of their lives with each other. However, you can do a few things from a manager’s perspective to improve interpersonal interaction and facilitate team bonding.
For example, you can schedule weekly corporate lunch sessions to improve bonding and build a culture of harmony. This can also be done on an inter-team basis, i.e., managers can schedule lunches with different teams to improve inter-team bonding. Such measures can help employees develop social relationships outside their current teams.
Leaders can also use activities such as quizzes and professional workshops to inculcate a feeling of collaborative learning. The latter activity can also help employees grow their skills and climb up the corporate ladder.
For a remote setup, you can create Slack and Mattermost channels that can enable different teams to collaborate digitally. You can also use these channels to motivate employees through recognition and rewards programs.
Lastly, you can arrange infrastructure for your remote teams to collaborate if required. For example, some companies have started using coworking spaces as local hubs to connect their collocated team members.
Workplace relationships are a crucial part of an employee’s well-being. They can serve as emotional support systems, improve work-life balance and encourage inter-team harmony.
Bonding between coworkers is also a great way to reduce stress and stimulate innovation. Companies that invest in employee bonding can see significant productivity and create a positive working environment for their employees.
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