Do your employees really know each other?

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How well do your employees really know each other?

You're probably thinking, "of course they know one another; they work together side-by-side every day after all." But you'd be surprised how little coworkers know about each other when they're not given the opportunity to network or socialize internally and externally. A "heads down" culture, where employees are expected to show up, clock their required hours and then head home (and repeat) doesn't help either.

Many organizations worry about the implications of overly social employees, such as sacrificing a peaceful atmosphere and lost productivity. However, a study by The McKinsey Global Institute shows that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees.

Here are three reasons why your coworkers socializing with each other is a good thing.

Stronger communication & collaboration

Poor communication and collaboration have a steep price tag. A survey of 400 companies cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year due to lack of proper communication. Socializing both in and outside of work leads to improved communication, better work ethic, flexibility and mutual understanding between coworkers.

Empathy and respect

Employees that go beyond learning surface level information about their coworkers are better able to relate to one another as human beings. They'll end up building more positive relationships, communicate better, have stronger empathy, and work more collaboratively. Those who feel personally connected with their teams have more meaningful roles and feel appreciated and respected.

Employee retention

Positive workplace relationships are one of the most important sources of workplace happiness. We know that people who are happy at work are often more productive, creative and more successful overall.  Happy employees are more likely to stay, not stray. It's also good for business as highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.

Looking for ways to encourage your employees to socialize and get to know one another? Here are some suggestions that will lead to more collaboration, more productivity, and a healthy company culture.

Poor communication and collaboration have a steep price tag. A survey of 400 companies cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year due to lack of proper communication.

Donut Slack app

Donut is a Slack app that regularly pairs up team members who don't know each other well to spread trust and collaboration across your organization. Coworkers can meet for short one-on-one interactions like coffee in the break room to get to know each other better.

Cross-functional team meetings

An option for larger organizations is to try holding cross-functional team meetings in which the attendees are from different departments, but are all working towards a common goal.

Practice employee recognition

When recognition is tied to a company's core values, it becomes more meaningful and helps a team work towards the same goals, reinforcing positive actions. A subscription like Chocolate Soup is specifically tailored to help acknowledge employees on monumental moments such as the birth of a child, birthday or work anniversary with personalized gifts. These are events coworkers may be unaware of until highlighted by a company in a unique way. Watch your company culture, retention, and employee wellness grow and strengthen with Chocolate Soup.

Team outings and events

Inclusive Team outings and events organized by the company are always a good idea to let loose, enjoy the company of your team members while having fun. We suggest interactive activities such as a potluck, board game night, or something creative like a painting class.

Before you know it, you'll have a team chock-full of engaged, happy and fulfilled employees ready to build great things.