Why we need to rethink social interaction in the workplace


Social interaction, as the name suggests, is related to relationships created between two or more people. It involves the interactions, communications, connections, and proximity between people within an organization. It also involves how people act towards others, as well as their reaction to how other people act.

These interactions form the basis of the social structure, but social interaction in many workplaces is unstructured and is given limited importance by many top managers. Whether we like to admit it or not, too many companies view employees as people who must follow orders and not question. Companies forget that we are all human beings with a certain degree of emotions and that we can only fulfill the motivation and the feeling of acceptance.

Why we need to rethink social interaction in the workplace

Social interactions in institutions build social structures and cultures. By interacting with each other, people inevitably design the rules and systems they seek to comply with. There are different types of social interaction in an organization. Including exchange, competition, cooperation and conflict.

Exchange

Exchange involves interaction between the parties as to what they expect from each other. This element is about freely communicating your own ideas. It also constitutes exchange between parties; it can be the exchange of goods or services.

Competence

Competition is when two or more people try to achieve a goal that only one can achieve. It can also cause differences or lack of cooperation in social groups. Competition is often a struggle to control resources. It can be from the internal or external forces of an organization.

Conflicts

Conflict is a fight between two or more people fighting for common interests that can only be achieved. Conflicts also arise when different parties have different opinions about something. Conflicts occur when the parties involved oppose each other in social interaction.

Cooperation

Are they all working towards the same goals? Cooperation is the process in which people work together to achieve shared goals. It is a social process that gets things done. No group can accomplish its tasks or objectives without the cooperation of its members.

All of these types of social interactions have some meaning in an institution. It is through conflicts that people find suitable solutions and it is through cooperation that things are easily done. Therefore, companies must welcome interactions between their subordinates to generate ideas quickly.

The traditional model of social interaction sees the management as the sole creator of change ideas while employees are mere implementers. With employees posted to fear raising concerns, there is less development in organizations. Each human being has a unique ability. Not giving everyone a chance to express themselves deprives the overall organization of the opportunity to grow and us.

Regarding the working conditions of the staff, it is necessary to provide a favorable one that allows creativity and productivity. With the types of social interaction mentioned above, it is clear that social interaction is of great importance in the workplace. Here’s why.

Greater commitment and loyalty

When employers and management consider employee opinions, staff feel a sense of belonging and are therefore motivated to do their best. This sense of belonging allows them to easily share the objectives of a company with the management and, therefore, work to achieve them. It is also easier for them to identify missteps and report back to their supervisors for improvement. They can also easily contribute innovative ideas to improve the business.

According to Forbes, employees with social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal. Quality workplace relationships help build a strong company culture that emphasizes respect, loyalty, and trust. Provides a sense of cohesion essential to cultivate creativity, teamwork, and collaboration.

Create happiness

What could be more attractive than a lively work environment? Interactions between stakeholders allow people to express themselves freely, not only formally, but also on personal matters. Provides support and guidance in all aspects of life. When you are happy with everything that revolves around your life, being able to share life with your colleagues, then you will be happy most of your time. A happy state of mind encourages a healthy life and therefore productivity. When customers walk in comfortable surroundings, they will be forced to transact with your organization.

Healthier life

Strong social connections result in happiness and content among employees. Without a doubt, when one is happy, psychological well-being increases. According to Mayo Clinic, adults with strong social support are at reduced risk for major health problems, such as depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index. Furthermore, older adults with rich social lives and quality relationships are likely to live longer lives than those with fewer social connections. Healthy employees have higher levels of job performance.

Research by University of the South shows that having a stronger support network or stronger community ties promotes emotional and physical health, an essential component of adult life.

Knowledge and productivity spillage

With social connections, trained and more experienced employees can pass on knowledge to untrained and less experienced staff. With this attitude and culture cultivated, there is no doubt that there will be high productivity in the workplace. This structure might work well when working in groups where the older adults would educate the younger ones. Employees will also tend to grow rapidly in such a setup.

Furthermore, relationships between co-workers without formal authority between them act as an essential source of information and emotional support. Everyone can be in tune with such interactions.

Efficiency and effectiveness

All four of these benefit fuel efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency in an organization is the ability to use minimal resources to achieve the organization’s objectives. When employees are happy and when they are motivated to work harder, business owners will have to cut costs for machines, freelancers, and hiring more employees. At the same time, the organization will be productive. You will have reduced costs and made large profits.
Efficiency means quality results; to achieve something properly, producing the intended or expected results. When employees are motivated, there is no question that they will do anything within their abilities to create or deliver enough.

Creating a workplace culture that encourages social interaction and helps employees connect is essential. Culture will help employees build relationships without feeling like they are pushing boundaries. A company linked to traditional leadership methods needs to rethink its forms and encourage social interactions.

You can influence social connections by:

  • Creating a social place
    Colleagues can agree to a social place outside of work, during breaks, or sometime during the week to participate.
  • Celebrations
    It would be helpful for management to organize celebrations to mark a step or for a job well done. It is on those occasions that we can easily interact with our colleagues. These celebrations can be anniversaries, celebration of an innovation, or award ceremonies.
  • Inspire positivity
    The HR management team could re-influence positivity among employees often. Co-workers could also do the same, inspiring each other. Encouraging each other is a method of social connection.
  • Encourage team building
    Team building is where a company engages its workforce in outdoor activities. The importance of these outdoor activities is to allow a change of environment, to take time off from pressure work to increase productivity. It also helps many to rethink strategy and gather energy to get back to work. It can also influence creativity.
  • Connect departments
    Specialization is excellent and undoubtedly increases productivity in the individual parts of an organization. However, it is helpful for top management to consider connecting departments to allow for social interaction. Social interactions, in turn, influence brainstorming and networking tasks to drive the outcome.

Image credit: monstera; pexels; Thank you!

Joshua Littlejohn

Founder and CEO of Norgress

Joshua Littlejohn is a writer, entrepreneur, author, and founder and CEO of Norgress. Norgress is a Canadian digital media and technology company operating brands in business development, marketing and communications. He has written on numerous topics including technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and marketing. His first book, The Marketing Falacy, earned the reader’s favorite 5-star review stamp. The book highlights how small businesses can use the power of marketing to appear like a large corporation. You can reach Joshua at [email protected]


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