International author and speaker on happiness Alexander Kjerulf recently told Forbes, “Socializing with your coworkers is essential for your career. If you’re not able to relate to your coworkers as human beings and build positive relationships, your career will suffer.”
For those of us in the early stages of our careers, this advice is particularly important. Socializing at work and building good relationships within the workplace can help create a more open environment, promote creativity, and help us get a better understanding of what makes people tick.
In addition to fostering closer relationships at work, activities that boost morale and create a positive culture can have a direct effect on productivity and employee retention. The Dale Carnegie Institute has found that companies with engaged, satisfied employees may outperform their competitors by as much as 202 percent.
Wondering how you can make work a friendlier and ultimately more productive place? At K&C, we’re lucky to have a close-knit group, which inspired the suggestions below:
Whether it’s bowling, softball, kickball or anything else, a little friendly competition can help you and your co-workers discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Sporting leagues are a great way to come together and cheer for one another.
Several K&Cers are part of the local ad agency bowling league, and although we’re not anywhere near professional bowlers it’s still great to get together and have fun and a few laughs and/or beers while we’re at it.
And if you need a stat to illustrate the benefits of workplace friendships, a study from Jobsite UK reveals that 70 percent of employees say that cultivating friendships at work generates a positive influence on their productivity and happiness.
Quarterly happy hours can be a great way for your team to get together without creating an overwhelming demand on busy schedules. Pick a new place and implement a happy hour game each time.
For example, have everyone anonymously answer a question about themselves and put them in a hat or bowl. Then, ask each person to draw an answer and guess who it came from.
It’s a great way to get to know each other on a more personal level – and the funnier the questions, the more interesting the game gets!
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As an agency that loves its breakfast sandwiches, we know a cup of coffee and a little get-together in the kitchen is a great way to start the morning.
Take the day or even half the day and plan an event for your office/department.
At K&C, every year we go to the Minnesota State Fair, which is personally my favorite event!
Our intrepid “culture squad” breaks us up into teams, and sends us on a scavenger hunt. Whoever finds the most items on the list gets the coveted prize; lunch catered in from the team’s favorite restaurant.
Coordinating employee volunteer activities encourages employees to give back to the community while also spending time together. Volunteering is a feel-good activity that can foster positive vibes that extend into the workplace.
In fact, according to Good.com, 93 percent of employees who volunteer with their company also report being happy with their employer.
Working in an industry that is ever-changing, we know it is vital to never stop learning. Bringing in speakers or going to conferences together helps employees develop new skills and also puts them together in a new environment.
Learning new skills can contribute to higher achievement, and in a Workforce Mood Tracker survey, 69 percent of employees said that they’ll work harder for a company that recognizes their achievements.
Check out the infographic below from Good.com to learn more about how engaged employees are happier and more productive at work. Of course, every company has a different culture, so use these ideas to take a step back and think about what activities would work best for your setting. Good luck, and most importantly have fun!
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