Last week I was catching up with my eldest son and a couple of his friends all of whom are millennials. One of them asked me –
how can we contribute, to the organization, as employees outside our functional roles. This post is a result of that chat.
For an organization success is measured by differing metrics depending on the nature of business and industry. One common thread is the fact that employees make all the difference between success and failure due to the extent of their engagement and involvement with the organizational goals.
Whilst employee engagement is the responsibility of organizational leaders, employees, too, have an individual responsibility in developing healthy relationships with their co-workers.
Whilst an organization may have product or service advantages, innovative patents and technology in use, at the end of the day the strength of any organization is in the relationship its employees have within themselves.
Developing strong and rewarding inter-personal relationships come about from the way we are socially conditioned to make friends, network and influence, communicate and give value to each other. This is where communities and groups emerge from.
So as an employee how do you go about creating beneficial relationships?
- Interact: Use the official events, such as team building sessions, training, sports, employee parties and community services, to reach out and connect with employees from other divisions. In large organisations one of the key issues is that people don’t know who does what in which divisions. So provide your fellow colleagues a-face- to- a- function so that they know they can reach you when they have the need.
- Volunteer: Step up and volunteer for projects that are not in your functional area. These project teams, usually, are set up to deliver key goals for the organization and is a great way to:
— Get yourself to interact with the organizational leaders and show additional initiative that goes into your annual performance.
— Helps you identify possible mentors and work functions that you may want to move into in order to grow within the organization.
- Talk: In any group meetings there are always issues being discussed. Put aside your fears of looking stupid, in front of your bosses and peers, and speak up. Make sure you understand the context, of the issue at hand, and then put forth your suggestion.
On a personal level, when you see a fellow colleague from a different unit at any time of the work day, stop for moment and ask how he or she is and how their families are. Share a minute or two connecting on common personal areas. Be careful when you do this. Do it meaningfully and not in passing.
- Help: If another colleague, either from your own unit or otherwise requests for information or assistance, help them. Not only would you be earning respect and gratitude of your colleague but you’ll be communicating to the leaders that the interest of the organization is what matters to you.
I’d be happy to know if this post is useful to you. Do share your views on ways in which you have nurtured internal relationships for the benefit of the readers.