When people discuss employee satisfaction, they often focus on ways to improve it by changing office policies or adding unique benefits and features to the job. What many don’t realize is that socialization, even in the office, is one of the fundamental keys to people’s happiness. And when people are happier, their workplace satisfaction increases.
By encouraging interactions among your employees outside of the office, you’ll increase the amount of socialization that occurs during work, which has been demonstrated to instantly improve an employee’s mood. This can lessen the employee’s burn out rate, increase your retention rate and create a calmer, happier atmosphere in the office.
When employees share common interests, they are more likely to build a relationship. Encourage this by creating volunteer opportunities for your staff during off hours. Whether it’s a golf outing for a local charity or a 5K marathon team, you can build your employees’ bonds with one another by creating opportunities for them to share their interests.
Studies show that when people have positive interactions with co-workers outside of the office, they are more likely to build friendships with those people. When employees feel they have friends at work, their employee satisfaction can go up by as much as 50 percent. Friends respect one another and the work that each other does. This encourages your employees to feel better and work harder, knowing that they are doing it with a friend.
When employees have regular interactions outside of work, they are more likely to engage with other employees during their breaks and lunch hours. This creates an opportunity for each employee to socialize, relax and rejuvenate, instead of work through their break time. Not only does this improve your employee’s satisfaction, it also makes them more productive and effective during working hours.
If you want your company to have a good employee satisfaction rate, then you need to help your employees maintain their work/life balance. It’s too easy to get out of balance and once it is, it’s hard to restore. If your employees are interacting with each other outside of the office, it helps keep things even for them, both in and out of the cubicle.
Ways to Increase Interactions
If you’re looking for ways to increase your employees’ out of the office interactions, consider a few of these ideas or brainstorm with your management team.
- Create community service opportunities, whether it includes working in a soup kitchen or collecting dog food for a local animal shelter. It will get your employees working together towards a common goal of helping others.
- Organize a sporting team for your employees to join. Whether it’s a softball team or a bowling league, getting people together to play is always a good opportunity to increase out of office interactions.
- Throw holiday parties or summer picnics during off hours. Encourage your employees to bring their families and socialize with one another. When people engage with others while spending time with their families, it helps maintain their work/life balance while improving their relationships with co-workers.
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