Getting to know everyone in your workplace can be hard, especially if you are working within a large corporation. But that’s not to say it is not important.
Here I’ve listed some great ways to get to know your colleagues:
Take a break from the hard, boring office work and bring out some cards or board games. Head to the conference room, or even go to the park, where you can play games and just socialise together. Have some non-work-related conversations about people’s hobbies, their children etc. Think about the fun parts of the job, or recent achievements, and try to incorporate it into the games. You can even think of some humorous and fun nicknames for each other.
Create a business plan together
Include your employees in your planning process and let them know that you value their opinion. This can be especially important if you run a small business, such as a tradie firm. Imagine if your workers could have a say in what type of traditional timber oil you should get or what kind of Interior timber stain is best. It might seem like a small thing to have a say in – but it will make them feel heard and valued, and that’s the most important thing.
Have lunch with your co-workers
Have lunch with your crew and take note of what is on their minds. Think about the employees who have the most work to do. Don’t just go and order a sandwich and sit in the office and eat alone. Get something like a pizza and go share it with a few others. Find the energetic ones that seem like a load of fun and go introduce yourself. You can be sure they will appreciate meeting you and enjoying your presence.
Be authentic and (sometimes) even vulnerable
In order to build a friendship with your co-workers you first need to build trust. Go and find out what motivates them which can only be done by you being authentic and take the risk to be vulnerable. Even leaders will feel like they have two lives; one in the office and a completely different one when they are walking out the door and heading home. If you want to inspire people to do something special, you need to show your true self and be prepared to share your story and passion.
Re-introduce staff at meetings
When you have a staff meeting you can ask a different staff member to introduce themselves again and share a few new things about themselves that people in the workplace don’t know. It is a great way to reconnect and remind the staff that there are new things to learn about people no matter how well you know them.
Attend social gatherings
Company leaders are busy (and with good reason), but there is nothing better than getting to know the employees on a whole new level; a personal level. Make it your priority to attend social events at work and attend workshops like team building activities. This can demonstrate that you care about the others are willing to take the time needed to get to know them.
Encourage a two-way dialogue in communications
It’s just as important for leaders to get to know their employees, as it is for employees to get to know each other. This can be done by creating a two-way dialogue. Don’t get sucked into mistaking notifications for communications. An effective form of communication within a company is giving employees a forum where they can share thoughts and concerns. Not just sending an email every now and then.
Work alongside them
A good way to get to know your employees is to work closely with them. If you think a co-worker needs help – go and offer it. If they are doing something in a different way then you would, then have a conversation and ask how they do it, and why they prefer doing it that way. Let them know you are interested.