by Sebastian Oros
Do you enjoy interacting with your leaders and co-workers? Can you imagine a workplace that valued short, simple, healthy exchanges that take place throughout the course of an ordinary day? What would happen if we prioritized these bursts of energy? Encouraging positive daily interactions helps to sustain growth, positive change, and a healthy work culture.
Could It Be Fun to Go to Work?
Imagine your favorite place to work. Maybe it was a coffee shop – maybe it was a corporate company. My guess is that the highlight of your experience was the people you worked with. When we enjoy those we work with, we have a pep in our step. We look forward to coming to work. We want to be the best version of ourselves – and we want to encourage these co-workers to do the same.
As it turns out, you don’t need a pool table or nap pods to create a fun work environment. You need positive interactions between co-workers that make joy infectious. These short, simple, healthy interactions can happen over the laptop screen, while heating up lunch, or while passing each other in the hall…or even over Slack.
Relational Capital Improves Business
The term “relational capital” refers to a bond between people, institutions, and companies that comes from a sense of belonging. When you foster relational capital among your team members, it has big benefits. Employees who enjoy their co-workers can more easily manage change. They are more motivated and have a more upbeat attitude.
During the last few years, we began to see the serious deficits that happen when humans are deprived of small, daily positive interactions. Turns out – we need small talk. We need quick hello’s and nods of recognition in our daily lives. One of the most important places to get these interactions is a healthy workplace. We need to laugh with our leaders and joke with our colleagues. Natural human interaction shouldn’t be stifled in the workplace.
Short, Simple, Healthy Interactions Hold the Key
It’s clear – we shouldn’t take the social-emotional impact of these interactions for granted. The more you can share with your team, the better. In my own experience, I’ve changed my attitude going into a boring meeting if I know that I’ll be working with colleagues that I enjoy. Positive interactions increase engagement, intentional participation, and a sense of belonging. It helps teams create at a more rapid pace. When we share a common mindset with our co-workers, it reduces stress and increases productivity.
Begin By Example
How do you increase the number of short, simple, positive interactions throughout your organization? First, lead by example. Take the time to chat about the weekend. Remember details about that co-worker’s sick relative. Stay lighthearted. You’ll be amazed at the positive results.