When you become a professional and have a full-time job, your colleagues can easily become your work family. And that is not a negative thing. Going to work and enjoying the job, but also getting along with your team members, can positively impact productivity and motivation.
There used to be this myth that the workplace needs to adopt a serious and monotonous tone in order to keep the employees focused and avoid distractions. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that having fun at work can improve employees’ ability to perform and increase their desire to do their jobs well.
Any business that wants to foster meaningful relationships between co-workers has to make this a priority as part of the company culture. This way, it will be clear to employees and possible partners that this is an essential aspect of conducting business.
So, how can business owners integrate fun activities at the workplace to strengthen relationships between team members?
Focus on informal communication
A way of building good and healthy work relationships is to engage in honest and informal communication and create a space where you don’t necessarily have to only discuss work matters. Casual conversation can help nurture friendships, and it gives you the chance to get to know the other person better. If team leaders prioritize informal communication, the employees will follow this behavior. What’s more, realizing you can relate to a colleague and share common interests will give you a sense of belonging. Not just that, but focusing on building relationships and taking an interest in your employees’ lives can increase trust between each other.
Besides informal communication, active listening is just as essential. Carefully listening to what the other person is saying so you can properly engage in the conversation is a sign of respect to your conversation partner. Empathy is highly important in any work environment, as you can be unaware of other people’s particular struggles. So, being understanding and compassionate can positively impact the team’s state of mind. When you have open communication and are able to listen to an employee, you give them the confidence to come to you with any personal issues. When team leaders don’t prioritize communication and don’t focus on transparency, this can affect the team’s performance.
Organize fun activities
A highly effective way of fostering meaningful work relationships is by organizing informal gatherings. They can be impromptu get-togethers on Fridays after work, for example. It can be incredibly rewarding to end a week worth of work with your co-workers before you can charge your batteries during the upcoming weekend.
In case you need a pretext to gather everyone to enjoy some free time after work, you can create a regular activity every week or month. This depends on how flexible your work schedule is and if there are no urgent deadlines to fulfill, as it is vital you don’t interfere with the team’s productivity.
An example of a regular activity could be to host board games evenings. If you have a break area within your office, you could use it for this purpose as well. All team members can collectively buy various games which you can play together. Alternatively, the team leader or one of the employees could host a dinner party at their place where you can play music or engage in group activities such as playing charades. These will all enhance the work relationships, which will positively impact the performance of the entire team when it comes to fulfilling tasks.
Besides this, holidays are the perfect moment for everyone to come together and celebrate. Think about Christmas, for instance. During this time of the year, people are excited to spend quality time with friends and family. Christmas parties have become more and more famous, as it is an excellent opportunity to strengthen work relationships. Another fun activity to have at the office during this holiday could be to decorate the Christmas tree together and the entire workplace with Christmas tinsel and strings of lights. Then, you can all gather around the tree and share holiday gifts. This is guaranteed to bring everyone closer together.
Invest in team-building activities
Apart from organizing informal gatherings after work or hosting holiday parties, it is vital you recognize the value of team-building activities. To build a well-established team that performs effectively together and each team member individually, you need to create the opportunity for everyone to build more meaningful relationships. A highly effective way of doing this is to consistently and properly organize team-building trips and activities.
It doesn’t matter if you choose to do smaller team-building events more often, a few larger ones which might involve going on trips, or a combination of both. As long as it is part of the company culture to foster more powerful work relationships, you can tailor these team-building activities to match the company’s style and budget.
The main benefit of team-buildings is the fact that it can positively impact the company’s productivity. When you celebrate creativity and free time and bring your employees together in a relaxed setting, innovative ideas will likely result from this. What’s more, if your team members develop a meaningful connection, the possibility of conflicts is low. And, even though this happens, you are better equipped to dealing with them.
Last, but definitely not least, is the importance of celebrating achievements. When an employee achieves a milestone at work, it is essential you properly recognize their performance and give credit where credit is due. Doing this will increase the employee’s self-confidence, motivation, work involvement, and desire to succeed.
Celebrating your employee’s growth is essential for the successful running of the business, as that will give them the incentive to come up with ideas. Besides, if you give your employees the chance to harness their strengths and apply their talents better, you will build a highly effective team.