Betsy Barnich, Client Relations Director at FOCUS Training, shares tips on how to support your colleagues to increase effectiveness and efficiency:
A friend of mine recently asked me, “how is it possible that you LOVE your job so much?" Apparently I had been going on and on about how great my company and team are… again.
I forget sometimes that not everyone feels the way I do about my job. When I was forced to really sit back and think about it, I think the difference is that my colleagues feel like a family. To me, that means they are “my kind of people.” We don’t always get along, but we care about and for each other. We have fun, share our lives, celebrate milestones and traditions.
We all spend such large amounts of our time working – who you work with (and for!) can be a HUGE variable in your overall daily happiness. How can we as employees and colleagues support one another and increase our effectiveness and efficiency at the same time?
1) Allow for differences. I’m the first to admit that I like things the way I like them. But over the years, I’ve learned I can with relative ease, like things the way other people like them too. It’s simply not a deal breaker if someone who is helping me out with a task forgoes the oxford comma in their writing. Would I skip it in my writing? Never. But that doesn’t make it wrong. The meaning of the message doesn’t change, the outcome is same, and most importantly, the task is complete.
2) Laugh with them. Do you remember your first day at a new company? I do. I was terrified. It felt like the first day of high school all over again. But then it happened… someone said something funny and we all laughed. That shared experience was exactly what I needed to feel more comfortable. A shared laugh in a cubicle or even a brief smile when passing in a hallway says “I’m glad we’re on the same team” – even if you have no idea what part of the team they are on or what role they play.
3) Treat them like family. Show an interest in them as people – not just coworkers. Maybe inviting your whole company over to Sunday dinner is a little too outside of the box for your situation, but simply asking them how their weekend was during the Monday morning meeting is not. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it makes a difference.
What it comes down to is this: I love my job because I love the people. I look forward to coming to the office because I can’t wait to see them, and work alongside them. If that is not how you feel, remember that it can start with you.