Building relationships among employees throughout the workplace enables them to feel connected within the organization. Communication is a key ingredient in this process – sharing information within and across departmental silos to let people know what others are doing in the organization to help it move forward.
Role switching is another effective way to build internal relationships and appreciation for other employees.
UPS sales reps accompany drivers on delivery runs, and drivers will go out on sales calls with the reps. Sales reps gain appreciation on the experience of package delivery (and brand promise fulfillment), while drivers gain insight on what new accounts are looking for (including what it takes to land a new account).
Once a year, corporate employees from Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar work a shift at one of their restaurants.
I don’t know if they still do this, but Hyatt Hotels used to observe an “In Touch” Day where corporate staff went into the field to work in one of their hotel facilities – working alongside housekeeping, bell staff, catering, check-in or check-out.
The value of these programs is that they help build empathy for other staff, reinforcing teamwork and a sense of common purpose. The combination of any such initiative to create a sense of appreciation and respect among co-workers, along with internal communications, helps strengthen employee relationships. That’s what connecting employees within their organizations is all about.
Coming soon: the last in this series of Internal Marketing’s Critical Connections — connecting employees with customers.