Sometime back I asked a close friend of mine, “So are you going to invite your friends from work to the party?” “His prompt answer was I don’t have friends at work, I have colleagues”. This from an extremely  talented and fast rising professional who is also very well liked, both my his peers, teams that he manages and all his bosses. Yet, his answer was black and white. There is no emotional investment in the job that takes up 85% of his time and perhaps that’s why he is so great at what he is doing. But not all of us can be so detached and we need to have more than the paychecks to show that we are involved in the job.

More than individuals, it is even more imperative for companies to bind their best talents into more than professional gestures so that they can build on some kind of loyalty and emotional attachment as well. Every day there will be bigger companies with better offers adding to the high attrition rate. It is difficult to retain good talent when there is so much temptation out there, some of them legitimately more profitable. It’s no use trying to hang on to those who are all set to leave. In such a scenario companies are falling back on the age old formula of cultivating relationships that will create a different kind of attachment between the employee and the company. Hence the growing demand and popularity of relationship building exercises. A quick look.

Relationship building exercises – #1 – Open office communications – You can start simple with an open office environment when it comes to communicating and passing information. As a team lead or a business owner, make sure that you motivate and encourage teams and individual members as much as possible. Recognition of work well done is very important.

Relationship building exercises – #2 – Parties – Encourage your staff to organize several parties round the year instead of just one annual Christmas party. Little gatherings to celebrate team achievements can make a huge difference and go a long way to bind the team into sharing the good times and helping each other out during crisis.

Relationship building exercises – #3 – Outings – A day out, office picnic or a family day at a landmark location can spell a day of fun and activities for all. It also creates an informal and convivial atmosphere for all to interact and get to known each other across departments and ranks.

Relationship building exercises – #4 – Intra office newsletters – For many, the term newsletters are so last decade. But you can use this rather older tool to start healthy and interactive communications between departments and teams. Make it a complete in-house effort with everyone pitching in for ideas as their turn comes. Who knows how many interesting anecdotes will come out of these efforts?!

Relationship building exercises – #5 – Team building exercises – Companies have been opting for various kinds of team building exercises over the years. This time you can focus on certain exercises that will not just create better and more successful team but also a more loyal one. These exercises should be focused at developing underlying bonds to help team members bond with the company goals and the brand better. Weekend exercises held at a retreat are focused and fun filled at the same time and can work wonders for all.

Gary Takacs is the founder of The CEO University is a US-based, CEO and Executive Peer Group Organization that creates opportunities for accelerated business growth and personal development  through CEO Peer Group Meetings that are CEO-led, one-to-one mentoring focused on unique business and personal challenges, and purposeful  learning events.