Leaders deal with issues all the time, and an important one is team relationships. People must be able to interact daily, and friction should be kept to a minimum. Something that is going to be an issue in 2017 happens to be bonding within the workplace. This may sound unusual, but it needs to be taken seriously by management.
The concept is not new at all. If you talk to your grandparents, you hear stories about how people in workplaces were all treated like family. Those were the kind of organizations where folks wanted to work. Everyone looked out for each other, and personal opinions were not ignored. There is a movement towards getting back to that kind of work environment. A good team leader can create the kind of employee bonding that creates close, business relationships and produces results. It takes a combination of proactive strategy and use of essential leadership skills.
Bridging the Demographics
Millennials are one part of the workforce, and there are still senior employees with years to go before retirement. The old mentoring program is not going to be very effective. The reason being that millennial have a considerable amount of Internet savvy. Senior employees don’t, but they still have highly useful working skills. What a leader can do is turn the old mentoring program into a partnership. It would be a situation where young and old employees would share their expertise in a collegial fashion. It is not a case where one has authority over the other. Instead, a collaboration of efforts is encouraged with the value of either party being emphasized.
Investing in the Team
Millennials are career oriented and are keenly aware of the ever-changing nature of technology. Anything which can help them improve their set of skills can bind them close to the team. A leader can invest in their professional development. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a person leave the office. There are online courses and webinars available. Allowing an employee to have the time to take such courses during office hours is deeply appreciated.
Do Not Neglect Emotional Bonding
This is a sensitive issue for many leaders, but it cannot be ignored. A Gallup poll has noted that a feeling of being cared for by a supervisor and: and coworkers as a favorable impression on overall job satisfaction. A sense of emotional security can increase levels of trust, and this is crucial for productivity and achievement of goals. Leaders can address the issue of emotional bonding without any inappropriate behavior. It requires certain actions.
- Do Not Fear Bonding. There is no reason to worry about rejection, and employees do appreciate a leader being sensitive to their needs.
- Be Willing to Listen. This is a fundamental leadership skill and hearing is not restricted to work-related matters. Some employees may have problems that could be resolved the right use of employee benefits (e.g. employee assistance programs for drug issues). Being willing to listen to an individual’s private issues, when approached by the employee, can lead to finding solutions within the employee benefits program.
- Show Empathy and Compassion. It is more than just a kind facial expression. What a leader can do within the work area to improve conditions shows compassion in action.
People feel more committed to a mission the more involved they become. A leader can generate excitement by using all his or her communication skills to promote interest and involvement. It is more than just an occasional pep talk. Boosting excitement requires listening as well as talking. Any opportunity to involve employees with the planning and execution of assignments creates a greater feeling of association with the team. Teambuilding activities outside of the office can also be used to develop a strong sense of fellowship among team members.
Employee bonding is more than just a New Age attempt at developing esprit de corps. Encourage it is a means of promoting a highly productive work atmosphere. The ability to show empathy for an individual’s problems helps create a bond that’s hard to break between leader and subordinate. Understanding how to best deal with age differences can prevent the years from becoming obstacles. Employee bonding is an issue which is more than just break room conversation. It is a means of promoting a proactive team of dedicated employees.