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A social network

Struggling to engage your employees? One way to help improve engagement at work is to foster friendships – 44’s Hana Evans finds out why the secret to a strong, cohesive team may just lie at your local…

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of ending the week with an after-work drink. My Fridays often involve trying to round people up to join me. “Sorry, I’m going to the gym” or “I can’t, I’m going out for dinner” doesn’t often dissuade me. “Have a fruit juice” or “you have time for one”; I’ve always got a counter.

Quality time

My love for our local isn’t based on a cold pint of cider though. It’s the quality time spent with my colleagues. Work matters to us all, so it’s not simply a case of leaving it at the door. Instead, we riff off each other, sharing ideas and solving problems.

We don’t just talk to our peers either. Our Friday pub trips allow us to talk to people across all levels of the company. Leaving the confines of the office levels the playing field.

Productivity and engagement

These relaxed, informal conversations shape the working week that follows. Left-field solutions are put into action and casual suggestions refine our working processes. But what’s really golden is the effect on our productivity and engagement[1].

It’s important for colleagues to be able to socialise because it builds morale and opens free-flowing conversations. A boss or manager being present doesn’t spoil the fun either. Instead it builds trust and increases engagement as successes can be celebrated as one big team[2].

If the pub doesn’t seem appropriate or feasible just now, why not start with coffee dates? Your colleagues will still feel more engaged, and you’ll still see the benefits in your work.


[1] https://hbr.org/2013/07/we-all-need-friends-at-work

[2] https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/2016-12-23-should-you-socialise-with-your-employees

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