Chiumento cites the following tips to encourage good working relationships:
- Foster inter-departmental communication and working, giving employees opportunities to share ideas & experiences
- Encourage face-to-face communication where appropriate, so that colleagues have more worthwhile discussions than e-mail alone allows
- Ensure no staff member is working in isolation but feels supported and involved in business.
I find these tips (taken from a longer list) most relevant because I’ve seen firsthand their powerful impact. Two of my clients recently hosted special gatherings to bring together their sales reps: one was a statewide meeting, the other a national meeting. (One group was primarily female, the other group male; ages varied in both groups.)
Here’s a representative sample of their comments from the session evaluations:
- Excellent opportunity to exchange ideas. We’re all in the same boat with common goals.
- Beneficial in hearing and learning how team members approach new business & make contacts, etc.
- This is helpful to prioritize my thoughts. It is always helpful to hear it again from different people.
- It really charged us up & got the idea stream flowing.
Yes, these types of events are labor-intensive and incur travel costs, especially compared with lower-cost alternatives of webinars and teleconferences. But a well planned face-to-face employee gathering is a worthwhile investment in stimulating and sharing ideas, problem-solving approaches and renewed focus through stronger internal networks.