Of Colleagues and Camaraderie

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By Shaikh Ashfaque Zaman

There are anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 bees in the average beehive. These buzzing critters epitomize how teamwork can lead to the success and progress of any entity with the worker, caretaker, and queen bee efficiently carrying out their respective roles. Although this an innate quality within the animal kingdom, as an evolved species, humans should note the dynamics of functionality and how individual contributions lead to overall success. From this testament of unity from Mother Nature, the corporate hive can learn a significant deal about functionality. Though very few companies encompass such a large populace, the smooth everyday operation requires an amalgamation of the entire workforce in order to function with harmony.

clay-stationAccording to research conducted by Vital Smarts, 9 out of 10 employees ignore the possibility to help a colleague with an ability barrier, an overwhelming 95% of employees have experienced dismal behavior such as passive aggressiveness or deflecting blame and an overwhelming 94% fail to resolve accountability matters with co-workers because of preconceived notions about them. These statistics show that ill sentiments in the workplace are not uncommon.This is problematic because not having a positive working relationship with your coworkers could potentially affect the kind of work produced. Worker interaction is an inevitable phenomenon in a professional environment; you can’t just stick yourself in a cubicle with the ideology that teamwork is not necessary.

Therefore, this issue should be addressed and dealt with accordingly. Fostering a negative work environment not only leads to the disengagement of the tasks at hand; it also produces unsatisfactory work and diminished productivity. The Queens School of Business has conducted a study that concludes that a disengaged work has 49% more accidents, 37% more absenteeism, and 60% more errors and defects.

clay-stationOn the contrary, studies show colleagues that have an amiable relationship are 50% more satisfied in their professional life and workers that have a best friend at work are seven times more productive. In this context, unity has been cited as one of the most imperative tools in building professional repertoire and efficiency. However, unity is not as natural within the confinements of the professional arena. One method of building unity is through intimate activities outside of the office, a leisure game of Ping-Pong or the occasional dinner can lead to better working relationships.

clay-stationIt’s Clay Time
In the spirit of building a healthier working activity, the enthusiastic team of NewsCred came together to mold clay and cooperation. As the team entered, Sharmin, the Founder and Managing Director of Clay Station, introduced them to the activities available and the eclectic array of work that they could use for inspiration. They were requested to think of making individual sculptures that would come together as a larger installation.
Sharmin explained that this could be anything from a crest to a sculpture part of which would be individually designed to come together, “We want you to come up with a concept together. Not only will this give you a chance to come together on a leisure activity, molding clay while socializing with your colleagues is an excellent way to relieve stress.”
Following a jovial discussion while putting on their aprons, the team had decided that they would each make the individual letters of the name of their company along with the logo. They’d come to this decision after a round of elimination of other ideas, with the reasoning that the logo would be a great statement piece at their office and a token of the friendly dynamics behind the pristine glass door of the Jamuna Building.
clay-stationThe molding commenced with each of them receiving their individual slabs of clay and disseminating who would mold each component based on artistic abilities. With the aid of the start of the art molding and designing tools, and Clay Station’s resident clay expert, Robiul Hossain, who patiently explains how to produce the clay visions of our dream into a reality that most us novices would not expect.
After an hour of pointing fingers, measuring dimensions and affectionate arguments over incorporating designs to the letter or leaving them as is, the team successfully made their indistinguishable logo. Taking pride in their completed masterpiece, as the team displayed the finished product on the table, they looked at one another smiling, taking pictures, and realizing as always that colleagues can become a remarkable support system both during and after deadlines, projects, and the traditional 9 to 5 hours.

clay-stationA United Front
Henry Ford, the creator of the Ford Motors Ltd, stated, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” The key to the success of any company is reliant on the collaborative efforts of the entire team and each person’s individual contribution to a target set by the entire workforce. The key to a prosperous work environment is collaboration and it can be established in a number of manners:
01. Communication Channels – with the advent of texting and group chats, communication has become much more efficient. Nevertheless, use the very technology that has improved mediums of communication to create intimacy; initiate video calls, because conversing with one another while seeing each other creates more effective communication.
02. Feedback and Appreciation – recognize the achievements and the contributions of your colleagues in instances when they have done a noteworthy job or advanced a task delegated to the entire team. Provide feedback in the form of constructive criticism, as everyone is prone to mistakes. Avoid singling someone out and disparaging them; this will allow for the free flow of ideas and input.
03. The Gift Culture – an effective methodology that entails the mentoring of colleagues and subordinates in order for them to hone their skills. When a worker is mentored as opposed to trained, the time that they are being given is considered to be more valuable, in turn, the gift of time. They are much more likely to adapt to the working culture and become inept of their potential when they are viewed as a commodity and not a responsibility.
04. Shared Mindset – as the age-old saying goes, ‘there is no ‘I’ in team.’ Your workforce should share a common understanding and identity. If they set individual goals for a group task it manifests into a culture of competition where an individual harbors the idea of “me versus them.” Make sure your team knows that the target being set is the common target for everyone.
05. Small Talk, Big Results – all work and no play doesn’t just apply for children. When employees have an allotted time to speak with each other intimately, they communicate on a human level thus building stronger companionship.

clay-stationCorporate Workshop at Clay Station
The pottery-making workshop at Clay Station studio is aimed at enhancing the creativity among the participants and creating a self-awareness of each participant’s ability to innovate.
The team-building workshop is aimed at bringing people together to share ideas and use their hands in creating pottery masterpieces. The participants may not normally be working together in a creative environment but our workshop will take them away from their busy schedules. The participants will also feel a strong sense of accomplishment in having contributed to being part of a creative project.
The workshop allows individuals to make collaborative or individual displays. The core objective is to enhance communication through a fun shared experience. The workshops can be anywhere from a couple of hours to the entire day depending on the company’s wishes.

clay-station-08The takeaway from an ideal Corporate Team Building workshop is the following:
Collaboration: The workshops involve participants working together towards a common goal – creating a finished artwork everybody has had a hand in making.
Shared ownership: The finished artwork and the collaborative manner in which it was produced will foster a sense of pride and shared ownership.
Individual contribution: The workshops are structured to nurture respect for each other’s ideas and work. New skills will be discovered and hidden talents revealed.
Communication: The collaborative nature of the workshop means that participants will be in constant dialogue with each other, interacting and exchanging ideas.
Resolving conflict: Problem solving, decision-making and competition will encourage participants to find different ways of working together. These methods will be transferable to the work arena.
Feedback: Participants are encouraged to present their ideas. This involves discussions, giving and managing criticism.

clay-stationReminder: Installation of the artwork in the workplace will serve as a permanent reminder of what can be achieved by effective teamwork.

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