Many of us spend more of our waking hours at work, interacting with our teammates, than we do at home. As social creatures, those we work with can become a second family. As in any family, there are times where everyone gets along and times where it seems that everyone is on edge. If conflicts are not appropriately managed, morale can suffer, causing top talent to begin looking elsewhere. This can be devastating to a construction company, where hiring competition is fierce. The burden usually falls on team leaders and managers to keep everyone moving toward a common goal in both the best and worst of times.
One of key ways to maintain company morale, with the ultimate goal of retaining top talent and maintaining productivity, is to first understand the ebb and flow of emotions within groups. From there, begin to develop ways to reinforce the organization’s mission and vision through fun and effective team building.
Whether the majority of your workforce is sitting in front of computers or behind heavy machinery all day, it is impossible to expect your teams to keep their noses to the grindstone, only interacting with each other during scheduled meetings or on breaks. These types of expectations are antiquated and are a recipe for talent retention disaster.
While managers and team leaders may find activities such as March Madness brackets and Fantasy Football teams to be distracting, allowing for this type of fun has shown to help retention rates. It is during activities such as these that team members who may not typically work together are able to interact and share a common interest. Through these interactions, the topic of work enviably comes up, and it is these conversations that spark innovations and collaborations.
There is a delicate balance between work and play, but if your team is consistent in doing their work, and doing it well, there should be little to no need to micromanage work versus fun. Encourage the balance by starting staff meetings with something social to create personal connections and model that you can have fun and still get work done.
It is proven that encouraging fun at work increases morale, productivity and retention. Modeling the appropriate times for fun within the workday and allowing for conversations to occur will help your organization not only attract, but retain top talent. Remember, it is called a work “family” for a reason. Encouraging social interactions not only makes the workplace a more enjoyable place to be, it also increases the understanding and quality of communication between employees.