My daughter asked me to walk her new puppy and unable to say no I regularly take him for a walk in the park. Being a puppy he is always ready and raring to go off-leash and socialise with other dogs, free of rules and fences. The effect of his playing with other dogs is immediately obvious, the antics are fun to watch and their interactions infectious, to the point that you want to jump right in there and get some of that happiness.
As I watched the activity play out I couldn’t help but reflect on socialisation within our place of work and wondered whether the walls that have steadily been created over the past 100 years or so can’t be progressively removed so that we humans can once again engage and collaborate at the most basic of levels, ie a genuine feeling of empowerment and participation. “The greatest predictor of success and happiness at work is social support” – Shawn Achor - author of The happiness Advantage.
The still relatively new way of doing business, ie “Social Business” is all about redesigning ingrained thought processes to envelop a sense of inclusion, rather than the current standard of exclusion. If it comes so naturally to dogs, surely humans can use the concept so much more effectively to achieve a sense of happiness through assisting others to collectively achieve common corporate goals.
As an exercise why don’t you start a process of creating a community within your organisation, draw up some objectives, which might be as simple as improving absenteeism or an idea generation exercise, designed to delver real value to the organisation. Share your experiences with others as that is also the essence of “being social”.
Being social in the workplace takes effort and business purpose. By identifying key business objectives and applying social methods you can ensure the right level of attention is given to achieving worthwhile outcomes so don’t be reticent to take your social initiative to your CEO for approval and support.