Thursday, September 01, 2011

Want more engagement in your workplace? Try the water cooler.

Socializing and socialism are two words that don’t get enough respect. Managers who are under the gun to produce more efficiencies and revenues per worker have limited tolerance for too much informal socializing. Governments faced with too little revenue and huge deficits often see “red” with anything approaching so-called socialism as it brings up negative images of “the welfare state”, laziness, entitlement and most importantly --- high costs. The gyrating economic environment doesn’t help.

But can’t we have it both ways, at least in the work environment? Let’s call it “work hard” and “play hard”.

Evolutionary biologists are absolutely certain about one aspect of survival: we need each other to adapt and thrive in uncertain times. It means interacting in messy, informal ways to share tools, tips and re-energize. It means keeping an eye on the “needs” of individuals in order to generate group prosperity.

Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is ultimately about group success although you wouldn’t know it from today’s reality TV shows. They prefer the entertainment value of pitting individuals against each other. But, such shows have limited application in today’s more complex and highly volatile environment. Bottom line: if we connect and share more, our chance of survival and economic success goes up not down. Talking helps.

So, back to the water cooler. It’s a simple social place. Yet powerful. It’s a smart managerial tool to achieve cost reductions and revenue ideas. Water coolers and the like keep the information flowing feeding into the creative and innovations streams. They help off-set health and productivity issues from the emotional toll when people don’t feel supported at work.

The leaders of Google, Apple, Zappos, Steelcase and other dynamic "go to" organizations know this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

My site:
rachat credit voiture