Following yesterday’s post about Neil’s eBook ‘Engage for Profit’ going on sale, I’m going to continue with the employee engagement theme.
There’s a chapter of the book about changes that can be made in the workplace to increase engagement.
One tip is to encourage camaraderie.
It says: “Encouraging your teams to get to know each other and build bonds can be a really effective way of increasing engagement.
It will encourage your workers to consider themselves as part of a team and take responsibility for their role and obligations to co-workers.”
In truth, this can be achieved through the smallest of changes.
I remember when I worked at a previous job. There was a small basketball hoop in the office, and after a few weeks a kind of unofficial basketball league emerged.
Every now and again someone would have a shot at the basket, with different points for successful shots further away etc.
It wasn’t much, but it encouraged a sense of fun within the office – broke the ice with new starters, was a talking point, you know, that kind of thing.
Unfortunately, a new manager came in one day and immediately took it down.
Apparently it was unprofessional and a waste of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d understand that stance if the ball was flying around constantly in an unsafe way, but it really wasn’t.
The heavy-handedness of the manager naturally left everyone feeling deflated, and, despite it only being a minor thing, it basically made everyone in the office feel like idiots who couldn’t be trusted.
Bizarrely, said management then attempted to bring in their own fun by setting up a Nintendo Wii in the next room.
An activity that would surely take longer and be more disruptive in the long term.
It ended up being a total failure, as the sudden U-turn seemed somewhat patronising and hypocritical.
So the takeaway from this for managers is to not shut down any genuine camaraderie or sense of fun your employees have.
By all means, try to channel that into something that can suit both employees and management, but simply shutting it down and branding it as “unprofessional” won’t do you any favours.
So what’s the best tactic for a manager? Have a read of Neil’s book and see: