Compliments of Marco Monetti via Flickr

Compliments of Marco Monetti via Flickr

Not surprisingly, members of a team feel a sense of “cohesion,” or affinity when they’re included, valued, and appreciated by coworkers. In “5 Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment,” Sussex (2013) explains that in-person dialogue (about something other than production), “atta-boys” and “atta-girls,” actively soliciting input, delegation without eyes in the back of your head observance, and fun at work through volunteering, physical activities, field trips, professional development, and shared meals (Cialti, 2014) will boost morale, and prop up productivity as a byproduct.

Conversely, if the value added of feeling work group connection (or a sense of camaraderie) is missing, employees may in effect have one foot out the door. Factory bosses (through union formation) experienced these truths through solely profit focused practice. Managers may think that a one track mind – in terms of making money – is company-centric, but in actuality the most beneficial action is paying attention to your most prized assets (those on the opposing side of the LCD screen).

Are workers happy, grumpy, dissatisfied with their current job, seeking challenge, afraid to tell you the truth, or looking for greener pastures? These conditions are impossible to ascertain if your crystal ball is in storage. Taking a break from 2D interaction is not only good for employees, but for you as well. Keeping your finger on workers’ collective pulse helps them feel engaged, prevents problems from occurring, and strengthens the firm’s connective fiber.

Behind the scenes quibbling grows to an audible buzz when supervisors look sideways. A feeling of “we” cultivated in a supportive work culture staves off disappointment, buoys employees’ spirits, and provides a respite against problematic home life. Showing your face is a first step, while offering a hand up, moral support, and friendly attention is a needed follow-up.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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