It’s something many small-business owners don’t make a priority: team building. But the importance of team building and employee happiness shouldn’t be underestimated. A recent Forbes article says, “Happy management techniques = happy agents = happy interactions = happy experiences = happy stock price.” And while, as a veterinarian or practice manager, you may not be concerned about stock price, you should be concerned about repeat business and referrals, both of which rely heavily on those happy customer experiences, which begin with happy employees.
Studies show that the companies who consistently perform at the top of the employee happiness charts also consistently outperform their competitors. But how do you ensure your team is happy? How do you help them to feel invested in their jobs and in your company’s mission and vision? The answers to these questions are complex and will vary depending on the people you’re managing, but will always involve the deep understanding of your team, their personality types, how they communicate, the recognition they seek, and other management considerations.
But the employee happiness scale can also be improved by promoting social interaction between colleagues outside the work environment, as in…company happy hours. A 2013 University of Pittsburgh study found that in moderate amounts, alcohol increases social bonding between individuals and stimulates longer conversations.
InTouch recently held their company holiday party at a hotel/casino about 45 minutes away from the office. Staff and their dates dressed up and were treated to a sit-down dinner and hotel rooms for the night.
The event was a success, and, with cocktails available from the cash bar, the 2013 study mentioned above was further tested by the InTouch crew (for the record, we concur with the study’s findings).
Bill and Katie Schroeder, owners of InTouch, value the opportunity to nurture staff bonding and make team outings a regular occurrence.
How do you get to know your colleagues on a more personal level? How do you promote social bonding among team members?