Prioritizing connection and in-person opportunities
Not too long ago, I wrote about the power of hosting in-person all-staff meetings with remote work becoming more common. We use these events as a chance for cross-team collaboration, reconnecting with our mission, and learning more about our industry.
Along those same lines, earlier this week, NAFCU hosted a staff BarbeCU (CU = credit unions. Pretty clever, right?) This event is more low-key than our all-staff meetings and focused on strengthening relationships with colleagues by bringing people together to talk, eat, and enjoy the weather.
Research has shown that remote work – or general workplace flexibility – provides a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining talent. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 87 percent of people take workplace flexibility when they have the opportunity. In June 2022, more people were working remotely than not. It’s a competitive advantage that’s worth keeping. However, a survey by TalentLMS and BambooHR found that 72 percent of Gen Z – the generation entering the workforce – found in-person socialization with colleagues to be important. Although I’m not part of Gen Z, I feel the same way. Quality time with my team is something I look forward to whenever I have the chance.
Research studies in these areas aren’t a precise science, but we should consider the insights gleaned from them. Especially if doing both is possible. There is a way to provide in-person opportunities while maintaining flexible work policies.
Many people showed up to the get-together earlier this week, with much more than normal day-to-day work being accomplished. Networking, team-building, and personal connections are pieces to the morale puzzle. They all come together to contribute to strong culture and joy in our work.
Also, I can’t stress this enough: Leaders – be there, if possible. Set an example by shaking hands, bumping fists, and talking with your staff. Take the time and be available and approachable to your entire team.
The summer is a great time to do these events. Whether it’s a group baseball game, barbeque, or a cook-off, try to get your staff together to enjoy the nice weather and each other’s company.