By Ayiga Patrick Obita; 25th June 2019
Every single day, we are provided with wonderful situations of connections at our workplace. It is how we use these situations that our connectors can be meaningful or not. Therefore, what is a workplace connector? This is an event or environment in which all the team members find a sense of belonging and purpose to work towards achieving the common goal which has brought them at that workplace.This term is used mostly in conflicts situations as an avenue in which people can come together to overcome their differences in order to coexist harmoniously.
The workplace is no difference from the community setup as it composed of people from different backgrounds, race, religions, cultures, academic backgrounds, experiences, etc. These differences are a prerequisite of disharmony in the workplace and it thus needs a conscious approach to overcome these through developing workplace connectors.
The issue is, how do we look at our workplaces? Are they places that connect us or not
Inclusive Meaningful Meetings.
Many employees feel left behind and isolated because they never are part of the meetings that take place in the workplace. As a result, they will start grumbling how they are not important and this will eventually show in their output. A disgruntled staff is one who becomes disengaged and they affect the productivity of not only themselves but also those of the whole team.
In a workplace, the output of one person is an input for the next level employee and vice versa. When the productivity of someone in that chain is not good, then the whole chain upwards and downwards is affected.
To ensure that everyone not only feels, but are part of the meetings, involve them to increase their self worth and esteem and in so doing, you are creating a powerful connector.
Note that these meetings need to be effective if you are to ensure that they are a wonderful avenue of connecting amongst the staff.
Collective Decision Making.
Staff need to be part and parcel of the major decisions that usually affect them. They are better off providing the solutions to the challenges that they are going through and in fact, they will be able to ensure that they adapt to the change process faster than if they were not involved from the inception of the decision.
This is about ownership of the outcomes from the decisions that are made and hence the need for their involvement. Staff yearn to be part of the decisions that affect them and why not let them be part for you to have a meaningful connection.
Collective eating / meals Time and Place.
Eating a meal as a team is one of the best connectors at the workplace. In most offices, workplaces or organisations, this is something that is lacking. These offices, workplaces or organisations might have kitchens in which tea or mealsare prepared, though without a common place and time for eating as a team.
As a result, everyone picks their tea or good and go sit and eat from their tables. Others, will have these brought for them instead. Whereas if the team had a common eating area, then they could be used by the team members to get to know one another.
As a Manager or Leader of you need to be intentional in ensuring that you have a space that your team uses for eating and a definite time set aside. This will help them to get to know one another better in creating a bond that will be able to spur performance because members have become friends. As a Leader or Manager, you will have staff getting freer with you and hence they will share with you what they might be struggling with in their work or even get ideas that can be useful in improving productivity.
Celebrations or Sorrows.
A team that is involved in the celebrations or sorrows of each other, stays, grows and moves together. This team will be supportive as well when it comes to work. They will be able to ensure that their team mates don't fail, but succeed such that they celebrate together.
For this to be meaningful,you don't need to have a few people participating, but the whole team. The whole team shows that there is unity, than when a few do take place.
Fun games have a lot of benefits for the individuals as well as for the team. These games should be enjoyable by everyone if it is to be of value.
Games create team bonding, relaxing, team work, getting it know others personally and up close, seeing the potential in others, seeking for support, knowing the likes and dislikes of someone, etc.This is a sure way of connecting with the team members. What games do you think that the team can play or be involved in?
In most workplaces, the top Managers are usually assigned or given motor vehicles to ease their movements in executing their duties.
Whereas this is good for them, it can be a disconnect or connector in how it is used. If the the person takes it as a personal property that they can't give lifts to all the others without any strings attached and allow others use for office work, then it will be a separator.
Give lifts to your team members who might not have their own vehicles and surely, you will easily connect with them and build a healthy work environment.
There is nothing that can bring about faster connecting than when having a good time merry making, eating, drinking, listening and dancing to music.
Most people are wired to having fun and this is one avenue that can do so. In such a setup, there is more getting to know one another in an informal set-up where the titles and formalities are usually left in the offices 😂😂😂. More fun parties are sure connectors for the workplace.
Language used.This is a very important issue at the workplaces. Others who don't understand a language that the others are speaking might think that they are backbiting them, worse off if they are cracking jokes and laughing. Therefore, not speaking the same language that everyone understands will be a disconnect,and this means that everyone has to use the official medium of communication.
As a Manager, you need to be concerned in ensuring that you have numerous opportunities for staff to connect with one another than disconnecting. This has to be an intentional practice if you will have a workplace which is conducive for the staff to sustain high performance.
Please do not forget to share with others whom you think this can be of value for them as well as getting back with your feedback on the article.
Ayiga Patrick Obita;
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