Hey managers, can we talk candidly for a minute about our teams? I’m a manger too and I’m concerned.
This pandemic, the stay-at-home orders, and social distancing … It can be maddening. We’re social creatures. We’re all doing our best, but this is hard and I think our teams are suffering.
Yes, many members of our teams are still working, albeit from home rather than the office. Sure it keeps the staff busy, but is it enough?
Unfortunately, the social distancing requirements that are keeping us away from the office have also halted watercooler chats, quick questions as they pass in the hall, stopping by someone’s desk to get fast feedback, and catching up with members of other teams while waiting for the coffee to brew.
So why does this matter? Clearly, removing all those distractions is a benefit to productivity, right? Wrong! These limitations have the potential to undermine our employees’ engagement, innovative thinking, collaboration, and productivity.
Time and again, research has shown that staff relationships and interactions with colleagues are vitally important:
- Research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having friends at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job.
- Positive interactions in the workplace have been shown to improve job satisfaction and positively influence staff turnover.
- Employees with friends at work reported being in a good mood more often, which has positive effects on the work being performed.
- Social interaction can lead to knowledge and productivity spillover from trained to untrained workers or between senior and junior workers.
- Strong social interactions provide opportunities to facilitate innovative thinking.
- Information collated through social interaction can help a team collectively improve its performance and the precision.
Now more than ever before, we managers need to team up with HR and regularly pulse check employees to measure their satisfaction, engagement, and their general sense of well-being.
HR’s annual employee engagement survey is not going to help with this challenge! Right now, we need to foster an environment where feedback is continuous.
Managers, be proactive and talk to your HR team. Tell them that you need the power to listen to your people so you can transform their voices into meaningful actions that improve staff situations and your business results.
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