“Workplace bonding” or “Team Building”, is an attempt to get employees to work better, together. It’s a call to strengthen employee communication, reduce siloed working, and improve the overall culture.
Off-sites, work parties, in-house events are all time consuming activities.
Time is money for companies.
Time is money and LIFE for all employees.
Firstly, Company time is important, so is an employee’s time outside of work. People make the company, not the facility/infrastructure. People who have families and personal commitments cannot afford to stay back or even travel to locations that separate them from local personal investments. Companies today open invitations to immediate families to join in as well. Not everyone wants to, most prefer to separate personal and professional lives.
Secondly, we are aware of the negative impact of people working late hours. Expecting them to stay back for any other activity is cruel. Even though most will not admit this truth.
Thirdly, the toll mentally and emotionally to sacrifice personal time is immense. The loss is immeasurable and often irreparable for those who go through it. If depression or anxiety sets in, you become a liability for the company. When work suffers you will be replaced. Once you are out of a job, it gets harder to get back up. It’s the family that plays a key role in rebuilding the person.
People make culture. Culture is in the hearts and minds of each employee. The diversity of thought and action at the workplace should be about work and for work. Under designated hours, without compromising on the quality of life of any employee.
It should never be hard to say ‘No’. People worry always about losing their jobs – “More than 83% worry about ‘losing my job’.” according to Edelman’s 2020 Trust report, for various reasons.
Bias is another huge issue.
Insights from the Institute of Public Relations reveals; Of the percentage that said they witnessed or experienced bias;
- 83% categorize the bias as “indirect and subtle.”
- 68% report that bias had a negative impact on their productivity
- 84% said bias has a negative effect on their happiness; confidence or well-being to some extent;
- 70% believe bias has negatively impacted how engaged they feel at work.
It is in human nature to have unconscious biases. Nevertheless, cultural conditioning is undergoing change by a conditioning that is inherent to achieving work-related goals. Money is pulling man away from personal value systems and traditions he’s held for ages.
Who gets to decide a person’s values?
Every company is profit hungry and needs to grow. Nothing wrong with it. The goal of every employee is to make money for the company. When it comes to personal time, employees must have the freedom to choose work-hours for work and the rest for personal needs. Unconscious bias or internal communication should not subtly shape the employees values/lifestyle or work ethic.
Companies must focus on shaping employee conversations during work. Between teams or individuals. Leaders and Managers play a key role in bringing about this change. It’s not the work of HR or Communication alone.
Take the case of employee volunteering, suggestions from leaders and managers are always for weekends – “There is a lot of work to complete.” Beyond Work activities that enable work efficiencies are still work related. Make the work exciting to help employees bond rather than go bonkers to create new activities that bind.