3 tips to increase the Drive to Bond & Belong

3 tips to increase the Drive to Bond & Belong

The 4-Drive Model of Employee Motivation’s second drive is the drive to Bond & Belong.  The drive is defined by our innate desire to form “close, positive relationships” with people around us.  The image of the lone wolf going it alone or the inventor holed up in his workshop are atypical – most people want to bond with others and feel they belong to a group.  Here are three tips to increase the B Drive: 

  1. Create a culture that encourages bonding Many organizations frown upon the fact that employees appear to waste time and effort by having personal conversations at work, goofing off, or having social activities going on.  Rules and regulations are put in place to limit this type of behavior or even outlaw it altogether.  The fact of the matter is, allowing or even encouraging this behavior (in a responsible manner) helps employees bond with each other and recharge.  It also leads to creating a sense of belonging that helps drive increased motivation and engagement with the organization and its goals.  Try getting rid of those rules and building a culture that celebrates the human side of employees.

    Tip: Try not to encourage people doing working lunches at their desks – invite them to lunch or have lunch time activities that get them to come together in the break room.

  2. Promote teamwork through job design A key way of developing increased bonding is to design it into the job.  This means putting  people in small teams to work on projects, creating opportunities to engage cross-functional workgroups on projects, encourage job sharing, create a mentoring process, provide cross-training opportunities, and any other way you can structure jobs to be more collaborative.  This not only enhances people’s opportunities to bond, it also enhances creativity and learning.

    Tip: Form a series of small, cross-functional best practice investigation teams who are tasked with coming up with ideas on how to foster greater collaboration and teamwork.

  3. Sponsor social activities Corporate softball teams are more than just a way to blow off some steam, they actively get people together and bonding.  Organizations can increase the bonding drive by sponsoring any number of social activities including: happy hours, bowling leagues, book clubs, brown bag lunch seminars hosted by an employee (or outside person), yoga, sessions, birthday celebrations, anniversary parties, summer picnics, winter skating parties, and other types of social activities.

    Tip: Hold a movie screening at the office.  Get a projector, a conference room, bring in some popcorn and show a movie.  You can even structure it so that you have a discussion about it afterward or make fun comments throughout like Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Would love to hear if you have any other ideas that would help increase the drive to bond.  Let us know in the comments area!

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