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Don’t worry. We haven’t rebranded as an astrology website.
We just happen to believe in something called “social facilitation.” And it’s something that we think can help you to unlock a higher level of performance from all of your employees – not just the ones who share the same birthday
Psychology Today helps us to understand the concept of social facilitation, and the effect that it can have on our employees. Put simply: “When people think they’re working together, they work better and longer, and enjoy it more.” In other words, people perform better when they know they have a support system.
Now let’s dive a bit beneath the surface. This isn’t about assigning your employees group projects to work on. It’s about how the ideas of community and common bond can actually help us to perform our individual tasks better – as the Psychology Today article notes, up to 93% faster, in fact.
In that same article, they go on to cite a study where a group of people were all working on the same project—but were never actually told to work together. When the subjects of the study found common ground, those groups began to help each other, spent more time trying to finish the assigned task, and were ultimately more successful.
The lesson, according to psychology today, was simple: “When you’re designing in a team, make sure to point out things that the team members have in common, even if they seem small and superficial.”
Let’s break down the three ways in which this plays out most importantly in the office:
Finding commonality within the office often starts with recognition. When managers can help our employees to see each other, that allows individual contributors to recognize other individuals who not only share their role—but those who can be an example of what high performance looks like.
Recognizing and celebrating great employee performances gives your employees an roadmap for their own performance – and by creating that culture of celebration, you’re making it easier for employees to approach each other, find commonality, and learn from each other. All of that, ultimately, is a surefire way to boost performance.
Additionally, that sort of social facilitation enables employees to hone on their true goals.
Going back to the study cited above, when participants found commonality and began to work together on a task, they reported that one to two weeks later, they still elected to work on similar projects.
Oftentimes, employees can become frustrated when they don’t have a specific vision of their short and long-term goals, which can lead to them working on irrelevant tasks. But with the right guidance, employees that have a clear vision of their goals are going to be much more engaged with the work, which will ultimately lead to more efficiency and higher satisfaction.
So let’s get back to birthdays for a second. The point of that is not to cherry pick some stat that might suggest people who have the same birthday will perform at a higher level. Instead, it’s one of those “superficial” reminders that we’re not alone at our jobs. In fact, we’re part of a larger organization.
Giving employees the opportunity to find commonality, and a shared concept of what your organization can accomplish together, gives them the tools to maximize their role, their performance, and even more broadly their purpose.
Give your employees the gift of knowing how they make your company better—how their engagement makes a positive difference for everyone. That’s common ground we can all get behind.
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