Someone said, “Alone we are smart, together we are brilliant.” Organizations are successful when they deliver outstanding results as a collective. The employees need to have a common understanding of the purpose of the organization, its values and beliefs. While they go about doing their day to day work, make decisions, prioritise their actions, solve customer issues, win new deals, improve efficiencies, save costs, put their annual plans in place and so on, they need to keep these in mind. When the employees are all aligned in their thoughts and beliefs, they bond very well with one another, respect mutually and become a brilliant unit indeed!
There is no doubt that a cohesive workforce rallies around common causes strongly. Leveraged well, such a workforce can be a competitive advantage for the organization. Employees need to feel happy about themselves and being in the company of their colleagues. How do employees bond well? Is happiness a personal subject or employers create social settings actively for their folks to have a good time together?
Get the foundation right
Many leaders and founders are so passionate about the business, its purpose and goals that they are eternally in a hurry to see the outcome. They inadvertently miss putting the building blocks in place and as a result, the structure starts wobbling after it crosses the initial exuberance of coming together and getting the revenue streams in place. The climb onto the next step on the ladder becomes tough.
The cornerstones of an enterprise are the values, beliefs and its mission. They need to be understood by each and every person in the enterprise. Leaders have to talk about these not only at the time of on-boarding but also time to time, at critical junctures of decision making. While they discuss about a challenge or an opportunity, they need to share their thoughts openly so that all other people involved in the process are able to get a view of these foundational aspects.
When leaders are able to percolate the values down the ranks, the organization recruits right and engages with their customers, partners and employees in the right way. More often than not, the employees make the right decisions along their way.
Promote social well-being
Top leaders of an enterprise need to consistently demonstrate that they are committed to the well-being of their employees and social bonding at work. Many workplaces practice high degree of discipline and undivided attention from their employees when they are operating a machine or materials. Yet the leaders can easily show their commitment to employee well-being by the way they relate to them, connect with them, interact with their families and provide opportunities for them to interact with others, take care of their daily needs.
For example, the soldiers in the Army, migrant labourers, traveling salesmen, seamen and people on project work have to live away from their kith and kin, deal with many stressful situations at work. Their organizations have to find the wherewithal to fulfill the social needs and ambitions of their employees.
Leaders need to believe, their organization’s goals can be better achieved when the employees are committed and aligned with their thinking. The workplace has to be such that they can come together to build their own bonds and find joy and happiness without harming anyone else. Sometimes, we have to provide environments beyond work for the employees such as annual day, family day and so on where they can celebrate their success, enjoy time beyond work and recommit to the goals ahead.
All fingers are not the same
Each employee may not have the same level of propensity to build social bonds. Some of them want to be very active socially, connect with many others, either collaborate or fight, express their opinions, engage in community work and so on while some others could be very private, prefer to maintain discretion and privacy, engage in a limited activities with a small circle of individuals. Human beings are like the fingers in a palm, unique in many ways and different from the others. So, we shouldn’t expect every employee to be active equally on social bonding and at the same time, we must not conclude that such an employee lacks commitment and loyalty.
With the advent of emails and messaging and chat applications, employees sitting 50 feet away from each other are communicating with each other by emails and chats. Conversations on chats and emails could be quick and non-intrusive but they lack the power of in-person face to face conversation where emotions can be are easily conveyed along with the verbal communication. Sometimes managers encourage their team members to drop in an email and let conflicts simmer for some time. While this could be tactical at times, employees get into the habit of staying away from in-person discussions and meetings.
Organizations have to find ways of playing up the social well-being and aligning their workforce better, thus turning out superior results.
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