“If I could sum up why I’m committed to the HR Girlfriends community it would come down to because we are ‘….in this together.'”

~Sana’ Rasul, Chief Girlfriend

Career Monday: A Foolproof Formula For Getting To Know Your Coworkers

Being on friendly terms with your coworkers can make you happier and more productive. However, it can be difficult to get to know other employees if you’re busy with your own work or communicate mostly online.

How can you create more opportunities to connect with your teammates?

Start with this list of suggestions for steps you can take on your own or as a group.

Steps to Take on Your Own:

1. Listen closely. Paying attention to your colleagues shows them that you care. You’ll be able to follow up on birthdays and other personal milestones. You’ll also discover promising topics for small talk based on their interests and experiences.

2. Share your lunch. Eat your lunch in the break room or invite others to join you at a favorite restaurant. If you’re on a diet, take a walk together.

3. Bring food. Treats are welcome any time of the day. Bring in home-baked cookies or local specialties from vacation spots and business trips. Keep a jar of candy on your desk to reward visitors.

4. Decorate your space. Personal touches in your office or cubicle can encourage conversation. Display your children’s artwork or rotating selections from your collection of action figures.

5. Greet others. Reaching out can be as simple as remembering to wish others a good morning. Slow down and look around on your way into and out of the office each day.

6. Help out. You can learn a lot when you work alongside someone. Volunteer for group projects and pitch in when someone needs a helping hand.

7. Share personal information. If you want to know others on a deeper level, you’ll need to share details about yourself too. It may feel risky to make yourself vulnerable at work, but the rewards can be worth it.

8. Be authentic. For your office friendships to be meaningful and sustainable, it’s important to be yourself. When you have the courage to express your true self, you make it easier for others to do the same.

9. Stay positive. Observe your body language and speech. You’ll seem more approachable if you smile and act cheerful.

Steps to Take with Your Company:

1. Take surveys. You’re not the only one who’s curious about what others are thinking. Propose a weekly survey about serious topics or fun stuff.

2. Continue learning. Uncover another side of your coworkers by studying together. Organize training sessions and invite speakers to give presentations about personal and professional development. Make these events more enriching by discussing your lessons.

3. Play sports. Use physical activity to bond by participating in a company softball league or annual soccer game. Ask your employer about creating a workplace fitness room or arranging a group rate at a local gym.

4. Join committees. Serving on committees can be especially helpful at larger organizations where you may not have much contact with employees outside your department. Sign up to promote diversity or review company benefits.

5. Throw parties. Office parties and picnics provide a valuable opportunity to bring employees together in a relaxed setting. If attendance is lagging, suggest solutions like finding popular venues or changing the time of day.

6. Support mentoring. Mentoring relationships can be one of the most rewarding ways to get to know your colleagues. Ask your company to consider a formal program or seek out your own mentors and mentees for each stage of your career.

Increase your job satisfaction and advance your career by getting to know your coworkers. When you feel close to your colleagues, you’re more likely to look forward to going to work, and you’ll feel more motivated to succeed.

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Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

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