Open spaces, water cooler talk, and allowing employees to update Facebook are often more effective in creating a collaborative workplace than all the team-building exercises your consultants can dream up. Here’s a look at what works in the real world.
Pay is only one component in building a motivated and contented workforce. Employees need to feel like they can talk freely with one another and their bosses. So the question becomes: How can a CIO create such an environment? Forget about bringing in hired consultants and running team-building exercises, and instead let employees collaborate informally during the day.
Collaboration is squarely at the top of the management priority list nowadays. “Companies recognize that all problems ultimately stem from communication shortfalls,” said Ryan Sanders, COO at BambooHR, a human resources software supplier.
As a result, CIOs are constantly trying to improve employee communication. Team-building exercises have long been used to open up communication channels, but they have grown as stale as week-old bread. “Team building exercises are often a waste of time,” said Dianne Crampton, founder of TIGERS Success Service, a management consulting firm
Management will look at a team-building event as a silver bullet, but at best it produces a temporary surge in morale. After employees return to the office, they see that their work has piled up and no substantive changes are made. They then ask, “What was the point of the exercise?”