A sense of belonging goes a long way among a team. For more and more employees, feeling like they fill a significant space within a team is a strong motivating factor, and this often reaches beyond their normal daily duties.
While formal teams within your workforce are hugely important – specifically to fulfil work-related goals and needs – it’s also crucial that managers embrace the informal groups that form on their own, even when they have nothing to do with the task at hand. They fulfil very specific needs for a workforce and cannot be ignored. Here are some key benefits to informal ‘cliques’:
A pillar of strength
When people come together on a regular basis outside of their normal work duties, an informal team might form. These groups provide a sense of solidarity in situations when frustration levels are high. Being able to look to an office friend for support is a great source of strength for employees who feel under pressure.
A new communication network
Informal teams often form over a quick smoke break or a catch up over coffee. This is the perfect opportunity for likeminded people to discuss passion projects, interests and brainstorm ideas they have been having. These groups provide employees with the ability to destress and catch a couple of work-free minutes to refresh their minds.
A way to develop skills  
One extremely beneficial factor relating to these informal cliques has to do with people coming together to work on personal and career growth. For example, a group of women could come together to chat about the unique challenges they face in the workplace and how to overcome them.
While these groups are bound to form within your workforce, it’s important to ensure that they are healthy and promote cohesiveness. If you find that a team is becoming too cliquey and making people feel uncomfortable, it would be a good idea to step in and put a stop to this behaviour. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with people forming bonds outside of their immediate teams. It provides them with a purpose and a way to relate to others in their office.
Franchise Enquiries – Pieter Scholtz / Harry Welby-Cooke – pieterscholtz@actioncoach.com / harrywelbycooke@actioncoach.com.
Pieter Scholtz is the Co-Master Licensee in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH, the fastest growing and largest business coaching company globally. Pieter and his partner Harry Welby-Cooke developed ActionCOACH across Southern Africa, which now boasts over 30 franchisees. He is also a certified, leading business and executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills. www.actioncoach.co.za / 0861 226224.