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Существует много советов, как укрепить взаимоотношения работников на рабочем месте, но есть и эффективнейшие способы сделать это вне офисов. Автор статьи подсказывает, где и как эффективно организовать такое социальное взаимодействие коллег.  

To Create Strong Relationships, Get Out of the Office

July 07, 2011

by: Milton Lewin

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There are many commentaries on how to foster and optimize workplace relationships, but I’ve found that some of the most effective relationship building occurs away from the workplace. No matter what your business or industry is, sharing nonworkplace experiences—whether it’s socializing over drinks or bonding exercises at an offsite—helps strengthen ties among team members by enabling people to get out of their roles as employees and to relate to each other simply as human beings.

One of the first, and most beneficial, opportunities for this kind of interaction occurs in the later stages of the interview process.

Many companies won’t hire someone without first having at least a few key team members socialize with the candidate. There are obvious benefits to observing a candidate’s conduct in such circumstances. Is this a person we will enjoy working with every day? Are we are comfortable having this person represent our company to the outside world? (Make no mistake about it: your employees are always representing your company as soon as anyone they’re communicating with—not just in their official capacity, but in a bar, at a dinner party, or on the sideline at their kids’ soccer game—finds out where they work.)

Giving candidates the opportunity to talk about what they are comfortable talking about, and simply being in a setting that is more conducive to casual conversation, is an important means of determining whether that person possesses the subtle characteristics that make for a good fit with your team and with your organization.

Once teams are assembled, and regardless of how well-established they are, I have found group outings to be universally beneficial. These can include a wide variety of social experiences: drinks, a casual dinner, or an array of off-campus group activities. The opportunity to shed the employee role and to see you (the leader) in a more relaxed and casual setting contributes to healthier interactions once everyone is back in the formal workplace. Note: it’s important to include as many people in such outings as are appropriate, but keep in mind that some will attend only if they know that a few of their closest associates are also attending, and that those who are shy may need will need a little gentle persuasion.

In addition, you should always be very clear about the purpose of the outing—whether it’s purely social or whether you’ll also be having some business-related discussions.

People often have other commitments and so not everyone will be able to participate, which can cause some to feel excluded even if the intended outing is a purely social affair. This is another reason to hold such outings with regularity.

National gatherings of company personnel from across the country also present opportunities for building cohesion among employees. Granted, these events are typically overprogrammed because organizations, ever mindful of the financial costs and the time away from the business, try to get too much out of the gathering. Even so, it’s vital to carve out some time for bonding and networking; it is particularly beneficial to employees who might not otherwise have had reason to work with, or even to know, each other.

I can’t overemphasize the lasting value of the various degrees of connection that can be forged through such collaboration, however brief or superficial: from the standpoint of the basic human need for connection, and also from a business networking perspective, it is an investment that will generate widespread returns for years.

In all such instances, it is important to create structures that enable the new relationships and connections to continue to benefit both the participants and the company. Much of this will naturally take care of itself, but it’s always worth a bit of thought about how to optimize what you create.

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