How can you bond more with colleagues?

Team building Habits

Did you know that isolation is a big roadblock when it come to happiness at work?

Research shows that if you question whether there is a community or even one friend you can count on at work, you will enter a mode of self-preservation and isolation. This isolation could lead into tremendous amounts of stress and can even result in sickness! A 20-year longitudinal study of healthy employees found that people with social support from coworkers were two and half times less likely to die prematurely than those without! Considering that I would say that it is damn important to invest in team building.

Team building interview with Petra Schyvynck about secrets of keeping good relations.

B30219F2A8AEC1B307404763192862B6-800Damn… We really REALLY want other people to like us at the office. It’s that simple! Bonding at work with your colleagues, can increase your happiness at work dramatically. So we were curious, and asked one of our most happy customers, Petra Schyvynck from Belfius Assurances , what her secret is for keeping good relationships at work.

You are great at bonding with people. What are tips/habits you would recommend on strengthening the relationship with your colleagues?

I’m a keen and enthusiastic talker, but I’m also good at listening. I pick up things that I can repeat later on. Some colleagues find it surprising that I remember those things. I usually tend to be very clear about what to expect from me.

I am a ‘doer’ by nature, so I like to handle things and I notice that this enables me to get some colleagues motivated who are more negative that me or more careful in their approach. They always tell me that my glass seems to be half full instead of half empty…

Do you speak up when something doesn’t work for you at the office? How do you handle this without damaging the relationship with your colleagues? Any team building tips on that?

Yes, I always give feedback and ask about the reason of certain things or events. When you do this in an honest and constructive manner, no one minds. Suppose they won’t answer my question simply because they can’t, then that’s an acceptable answer too. What’s important is that when someone confides in you, you keep this confidential. You could help this person by just listening and giving advice if suited. Only when they are ready to share, they will talk about this with others.

How do you keep your happiness level/the happiness level of your colleagues high when times are tough?

(f.e. high work pressure, somebody getting fired, lots of changes, just another rainy day…)

Even for positive-minded people this can be tricky, but I often manage to get satisfaction from small things that have succeeded. We are going through a major change right now and how exactly this will evolve…who knows? But I try to get information, do research, try to prepare, think about what I would really like to do in this new situation, …. It is important to put things in perspective from time to time: ‘If I don’t manage to get this done today due to lack of time, what are the consequences?’ Will the world come to an end? Most probably it won’t. 😉 So we’ll do that first thing tomorrow.

How do you boost happiness in general at HR/Belfius Insurance? What are happiness-habits you love and would recommend to anybody?

It is key to experience pleasure and fun in your job, or you will never be able to keep going. At Belfius Insurance we actively try to keep the joy of working high with different initiatives. The work-life balance is very important, as is doing fun stuff with your colleagues. Through career mentoring, employees can actually explore what it is that really makes them happy and find out whether they have those opportunities available at Beflius Insurance. There are quite some development opportunities, because we do like to watch our people grow, no matter in which direction.

We always kick off our Monday team meeting with a question. For example: ‘What did you do last week, that you would like to share with your colleagues?’ (this could be professional or private). The questions are diverse and it’s not always a happy story per se, but it became a habit that everyone looks forward to.

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Read the Habit magazine: happiness at work.


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