Potlucks have been a popular team building activity for decades and what better way to bring people together than with an assortment of delicious foods. Potlucks are easy to organize and are a perfect informal gathering for any office. That said, employees are usually eager to sign up for something to bring and even more excited about attending the lunch. Managers, on the other hand, might hesitate to join the festivities. All too often managers think that all work and no play is the best way to maximize productivity, but studies have shown that a fun workplace leads to happier employees who perform better. Not only is it important for managers to organize team-building activities from time to time, but it’s just as important for them to participate in these activities themselves. Having fun is actually one of the most effective ways to manage and improve employee performance, so managers should be among the first to sign up to bring a dish. Here’s why every manager should plan on attending that next team potluck.
It Builds Stronger Relationships
If the only time your employees communicate with you is during a performance review, chances are they won’t develop a strong working relationship with you. Many managers have a difficult time figuring out how to balance being a manager and being a friend, but employees tend to perform better for a manager who knows and understands them. It’s important for managers to attend the team potluck because this gives them a chance to talk to employees and get to know them on a more personal level. Employees want to work for a manager who cares about them as a person, and not just how well they perform on the job.
It Shapes Employee Well-Being
There’s no question that employees who have fun at work are happier and more satisfied with their jobs. Managers have the opportunity to utilize their leadership skills to encourage a little fun in the office from time to time. The “all work and no play” mentality will lead to high-stress levels and employee burnout. However, a manager that knows how to decompress and have a little fun becomes relatable to employees and sets the tone that well-being is an important aspect of the job. When employees see their manager taking the time to join in the fun, they too will feel like they have the green light to follow suit.
It Creates Greater Camaraderie
How can a manager possibly expect to lead a cohesive team if they don’t foster teamwork themselves? Attending the team potluck shows that you are there for your team and you want to support them. Managers who avoid these kinds of activities leave their team feeling frustrated and abandoned. Managers have a duty to set the example of teamwork by creating conditions that are conducive to success. They are accountable for the failure of the group so they need to serve as a healthy role model for their team.
At first glance, it might seem like that team potluck is just a reason to eat great food, but managers can have a huge impact on employees just by attending. It’s a great chance to communicate, converse, and just cut loose for a bit and this is a great way for managers to cultivate a culture of happiness in the workplace.