27. May 2011 10:44
Unfortunately, in a time when most employees feel the need to belong in order to perform their best, many organizations do not value or encourage informal networks. Encouraging your employees to develop relationships within the organization will not only go a long way in creating a social, fun atmosphere…but, more important, make your employees feel as if they belong to something more than 9 to 5 job. As a manager, here’s what you can do:
Make the initial effort. When you bring an employee on board, make it a point to integrate him or her into your organization. Introduce the new hire to others within and outside your department. It will also help to have the person sit in on as many meeting as possible.
Make meetings more relaxed. Meetings should not be ultra formal and/or protocol-driven, but instead, a way for individuals to get together share ideas and hopefully come to an understanding. You want your meetings to serve as a forum for employee interaction, collaboration, and innovation.
The little things go a long way. As a manager, you have the ability to set the tone. Organize after-hours activities like happy hours, dinners, and lunches. The little things will go a very long way in making your employees genuinely relax and feel as if they can act like themselves.