By: Andy Levitt
Working in a small, start-up company has it’s pros and cons, for sure, but one of the biggest benefits is the sense of camaraderie... family even... that can develop when the company is small and the people are all working closely together, such as here at HealthTalker. I mean, if you think about it, we are together 8+ hours for five days each week. That’s more time than I’m around my family, practically speaking.
The interpersonal dynamic, much like a family, has it’s ups and downs. And much like a family, when people get along, it’s really a lot of fun to be with them. Working with people you respect is important... and if you like them as well, it makes your day enjoyable. The work becomes less “work”.
In most companies with TONS to do (like HealthTalker), it can be easy to be distracted by the “business urgent” and miss the “social important”. I work with these folks day in and day out. I want to enjoy them as much as I enjoy the work. Sometimes, both takes effort, but I’ve learned that it’s effort well spent! When I invest in interpersonal relationships, the workplace and workday become something to look forward to. When the relationships are strained, or simply not cultivated, the workplace and workday can become something to dread, much like “family gatherings” can sometimes be (you know what I'm talking about). Or it can seem lonely... working as an unknown face surrounded by names and faces that are meaningless.
Relationships with co-workers take time and effort to cultivate. It starts with an intention to do so and a corporate culture that fosters and encourages those sorts of relationships.
Does your company have parties? Do you get together after hours for drinks? Ever? Do you have dress-down or dress-funny days? Do you have joke lists? Do you have games/activities? Do you decorate the place? Personalize it? Do you ask about each others' weekends? Holidays? Family? Do you share stories with each other?
If not, why not? These may be your co-workers, but in a way, their your family too. Spend some time with your “family”. You might find you enjoy it (and them) more!