6 Ways Your Team Can Grow And Stay Together
You may have heard the adage, “Those who work together, stay together.” Or wait, is it, “Those who play together, stay together”? Which one is it? Does it matter? I think they’re both true and important. Especially at work.
A big part of getting a group of employees to gel is by adding non-work-related elements. From a study by the State of Friendship, a good portion of adults met one or more of their closest friends at work. And when employees have good friends at work, they’re much more likely to stick around—therefore, helping with retention. One study found that 67 percent of employees chose friendships with coworkers as the top reason why they were staying at jobs.
- Share Food. It’s one of the first things employees do together (many companies take new hires out to lunch on the first day) and then we have to eat again every day. That’s why it’s only natural that you would take time to catch a bite with a coworker at that new burrito restaurant or bring in donuts to share.
- Play Games. One of the fastest ways employees can get to know each other—especially from different departments—is to play a game together. At our office, we have a group of people from HR, development, marketing and sales that meet up in the conference room and plays games.
- Exercise. Of course, exercise is good for us on so many levels. Some companies organize basketball or softball teams to play together on off hours. Groups of people go lift weights or do cross-fit together on their lunch breaks—maybe even a weekly “ultimate Frisbee” group.
- Watch TV. Some people gather around one of the televisions at lunch to watch TV. Sometimes they’ll even break up a movie over several lunch breaks and pop some popcorn to catch a movie they’ve wanted to see.
- Celebrate. We’re all at work to do a job, but there’s no harm celebrating at times. Use some of those special days, like Pi Day, theme based food to have a chance to all bring food and celebrate the day.
- Carpool. It can be fun and cost-effective to organize a carpool for people who live in the same area. You get to know each other better and can even sneak in a little extra brainstorming on projects when you’re pressed for time. And, of course, the world will be a better place (think about the environment).
Most of the time we’re focusing on hiring for skills and training our employees. Just remember, one of the most important aspects of working together as a team is enjoying the work. Work should be fun and productive.
Importance of Cultivating a culture of Gratitude at Work
Gratitude in the workplace should be the norm, and we urge you to be leaders by taking the initial steps toward altering the culture in your company, industry, and workplace as a whole.
While the pandemic continues, we should concentrate on cultivating thankfulness to make the best of the situation. By being consistent and sincere, the widespread use of digital communication tools, which isn’t going away anytime soon, may help us develop thankfulness in our lives and at work.
If you think a thankfulness culture at work is just a nice-to-have, you might want to reconsider. Several new research on the benefits of thankfulness reveals that it not only benefits our health, sleep, and stress reduction, but it also benefits us at work, resulting in increased job satisfaction and employee retention, as well as stronger teams.
The Power of Gratitude in the Workplace
You’ll discover how far-reaching the power of gratitude can be once you figure out how to start recognizing the dedicated members of your team. It has the potential to have a snowball effect that enhances day-to-day operations in unexpected ways.
Here are a few examples of how appreciation can improve a workplace.
- People Feel Acknowledged – People’s talents can often make them feel limited. It’s simple to express gratitude for a job well done or a goal achieved, but it’s much more challenging to stop and thank the person who made it possible. Begin expressing gratitude for your employees’ qualities that go beyond meeting deadlines. Applaud them for their upbeat attitude, capacity to smile despite adversity, ability to motivate others, and sense of humour. Appreciate your staff for who they are as individuals, not just what they do.
- It Fosters Collaboration – Virtual meetings have permanently altered the way individuals collaborate in the workplace. Engaging in familial conversations is considerably more complex; new people feel separated from the beginning, and some employees feel left out. Cultivating an appreciation culture helps people let down their guards and removes some professional obstacles. Gratitude in the workplace will result in happier, more productive employees and better onboarding experiences for new employees, even if they work remotely.
- Leaders Emerge – Leaders will emerge as soon as you begin to cultivate the seed of thankfulness in the workplace. These are the people who will change the focus away from measurable results and toward making employees feel validated outside of the workplace.
How can you incorporate gratitude in your workspace?
After you’ve grasped the significance of gratitude, you might be asking how to incorporate it into your company’s culture. Recruit critical members of your team to assist you in brainstorming methods to demonstrate appreciation, and start with these basic ideas:
- Greet staff or send a quick greeting when they log in each morning.
- Surprise your coworkers with complimentary coffee, lunch, or other delights.
- Recognize efforts, even if they are unsuccessful.
- Always remember to express gratitude, even for minor achievements.
- Recognize and reward employees’ efforts outside of the workplace.
Once you start noticing a difference in morale due to a thankfulness culture, you’ll be inspired to keep it continuing until it becomes second nature and synonymous with your company.
Everyone wants to be respected and acknowledged; it is one of the deep and fundamental human desires. Displaying gratitude in the workplace has both business and human benefits. Leaders must recognize and prioritize their efforts to consistently express genuine gratitude and appreciation to their employees. They must foster a gratitude culture throughout the organization, in which all employees feel responsible for and empower to recognize one another for their excellent work.
Why employers must engage with their teams in new ways
More often than not, most major brands out there are more concerned with how to increase consumer engagement than how to increase employee engagement. They are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to catch the attention of customers and make connections that will lead to brand loyalty. Because we are living in the age of technology, we expect brands to engage with us in relevant ways that are bespoke to us or tailored to our lives. What companies must now realise, however, is that this principle extends to its employees as well.
Employees Are Consumers, Too
Every brand is an organization staffed by the same people who respond so willingly to tailored engagement strategies, so why aren’t more employers taking advantage of these strategies to foster a happier, more productive work environment? Why is it that, even though we are in 2016, many employers are using the same, more traditional methods of relating to their employees? Often using archaic tools like internal emails, intranet communications, boring training meetings and standardized annual reviews is akin in the marketing world to using flashing, pop-up banner ads and untargeted mail to get customers interested in your brand.
In this new world of hyper connectivity and constant communication, it is the employer’s job to make the work environment a great and engaging place if you want to attract and keep the best talent. Millennial in particular are looking for this plugged-in workplace that makes them feel valued, and, in the same way brand loyalty is dying in the marketing world, employees will have no qualms about leaving one company for another offering a work environment that is more validating and exciting. Employees should be rewarded for their feedback and company engagement just like consumers.
Happy, productive staffs are those that feel like they matter. Much like consumers, they expect to be rewarded for loyalty and engagement, and why shouldn’t they? After all, workers are just as vital to a brand’s success as its consumer base.
Get your staff ‘gaming’
The concept of using elements of game play to increase employee engagement can be deployed just as successfully behind the scenes as a human resources tool. Gaming tactics like point scoring, friendly competition, completing missions, unlocking achievements and winning prizes are all proven methods of facilitating collaboration and rewarding positive interaction. To make the implementation even simpler, this concept has now been modified for phones and tablets as well. With well over two billion smart phones active globally, utilizing a Smartphone platform for employee engagement is a simple, low-risk tactic.
Many companies still use the traditional “PowerPoint and human resources manager speech” method of training, but this is a very limited approach to transmitting information or teaching new skills. Instead, when companies choose to incentivize learning with interactive mobile quizzes, reward points and achievement statuses they see a significant uptick in employee satisfaction and company involvement.
Scoring high with your employees
As an example, when data storage company EMC2 tried to establish an online community for its employees, they struggled with getting users to fill out profiles, participate in forums and fill out surveys. It’s a fact that roughly 70 percent of online workplace communities fail through lack of participation, and EMC2 was swiftly heading in that direction.
Instead of allowing their community to slip into oblivion, they decided to implement a rewards and recognition program that employed game mechanics like unlockable achievements, missions to complete and status posts to share amongst others in the network. This simple shift produced a 10 percent increase in documents created and page visits, a 15 percent boost to discussion forum involvement and a massive 41 percent leap in training videos watched. Once employees were being tangibly rewarded for their time and effort, they were far more willing to be engaged in the workplace.
Another success story for gamification is the Deloitte Leadership Academy. This is a digital executive training program that delivers online courses and training modules to thousands of executives around the world. Their challenge was getting employees to consistently log in and complete corporate training courses around their packed work schedules.
Once the company established a game-like structure for their employee portal, it was no longer a challenge to get employees motivated to complete their training. The brand saw a 46.6 percent spike in the daily return average and a 36.3 percent increase to the weekly return average. Training course completion times were cut in half as well, and knowledge retention was increased.
The constantly-shifting landscape of the human resources industry requires forward-looking companies to try these newer, updated methods of gauging the pulse of the workplace. Successful brands are using strategies such as gamification, channels like mobile, and understanding the additional benefits of these new strategies. Remember, your team is your brand. Without them, there can be no consumer experience.
Build cost-effective remote-friendly employee rewards
“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards.”– Dale Carnegie
It is true that when we work, as employees one of the biggest motivators is our monthly paycheque. However, the one thing most of us may have realized with the onset of the pandemic is that meeting our colleagues and having those extended lunches was also a reward in some ways. It is true that ideally in the current day and age, employees are willing to go that extra mile if they are given the right recognition and praise in the form of rewards.
Now, the tricky factor is that with most offices shut, HR really had to do some out of the box thinking to come up with rewards that can be given even as their team continues their hard work remotely. This is why in this particular blog, we shall be discussing certain tips and ideas that can make your employees feel rewarded and recognized without burning a hole in your pockets. After all, more than the value of the reward, it is the thoughtfulness that counts.
Saying it video-cally: Sometimes words are all one has to give appreciation and with most team members including the senior leadership team working remotely, various challenges have been faced. In trying times like this even shooting a small appreciation video to thank the management team for not leaving their side, or to thank the working team members who drive the company goals can put a BIG smile on the face. Play these video snippets in your weekly or monthly video meets
and see how appreciation pays off.
Thanking them aromatically: At times of negative news cascading all around, spreading a little blooming cheer is necessary. One reward that can be considered is sending your remote working team members a nice potted plant that can spread a little hope in trying times like this.
Sending the snail mail joy: In the era of email and internet, how fascinating it is to receive a postcard or a letter with kind words of encouragement? Remote working team members can be reminded that their hard work is not going unnoticed when a simple token of appreciation is sent to them by mail.
Say it with Emojis: The one universal language that we all understand is the language of emojis, which is why if one of your team members has done something commendable, think of an apt emoji to appreciate their feat and have them wear it next to their badge for a week. Trust us, a simple thing like this will also help lift their spirits commendably.
It’s a special delivery time: Remember how the entire office got together to celebrate your birthday or work anniversary? We sure with people working remotely all these special occasions are being missed! But, now HR can still show that they care by using delivery options to send maybe a cake, or a box of assorted cookies or chocolates to recognize the efforts of working team members. Make them realize that being out of sight does not mean being out of recognition!
Stellar recognition: Appreciating a stellar team member onsite is easy, but how to go about it when working remotely? Design an autonomous recognition software that can let all the team members know about the good performance showcased by an employee. Reward them bonus points for every target achieved and entitled them to some reward upon the collection of maximum points.
The next time you come across dropping morales of your team, remember to keep in mind these tips and suggestions that can help bring them back on track. There are a number of cost-effective ways in which you can do the same, but the end result will definitely be quantifiable. So, how do you plan on rewarding your remote workers?
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