As an employer it can feel like a mission to get your staff to connect with one another. In many ways, it feels like you have forced strangers into a room and told them to work together. But there are so many benefits in getting them to connect. They don’t need to be best friends, but happy workers tend to be better workers, and you could have a more productive, loyal and long-term staff force if you try and help your employees get to know each other.
Here are some ideas and tips:
- Dress down Fridays – If it is appropriate to do so, it is a good idea to allow staff to dress down on Fridays. This helps people to feel more relaxed in each other’s company, and the ‘corporate work feel’ starts to shed away. There are numerous benefits to dress down Fridays. com suggests that when people are dressed more casually, with workers across all levels wearing similar attire, they may be more likely to interact with people they wouldn’t ordinarily feel comfortable approaching. It’s easier to chat and share ideas with someone who is dressed similarly to you than with someone in more formal attire than you’re wearing.
- Office Fruit – this is an affordable solution which also promotes healthy living (and hey, you may even see a reduction in the number of sick days from your staff!) Office fruit delivery company Fruitful Office say that, in an experiment they conducted, 81% of staff thought having fresh fruit available at their desk had “improved their quality of life at work.” With people feeling happier and healthier at work, and being able to pick up a free apple or banana in the staff room, you may find staff connect with each other more and feel more valued as a member of the team.
- Team Days – Arranging team days where people leave the office for a day to get to know each other in a completely different setting is a good way of encouraging team spirit. Some people may think that this approach is a little too forced, however, so it is wise to pick your team day carefully. Some people may hate ‘trust’ exercises or physical activities, so make sure the day is catered to all.
- Delivery deadline treats – How about arranging a pizza to come to the office when staff are working over their normal hours to meet a tight deadline? This can really be received well and staff will feel valued and will likely feel connected to other co-workers. Why not also allow staff to go home an hour early when you feel the team deserve it. It could prompt staff to go to the local café or pub for a drink with each other.