Last week I wrote about the value of touch in the workplace. Basically, I’m for handshakes, high fives, pats on the shoulder and even hugs in the workplace as one way of creating and maintaining good workplace relationships and there’s science to indicate the importance and value of touches.
I once worked for a bank in Germany (well these are two locations in which you would not normally expect “personal affection” ;-)).
The team was large, about 40 people worked in one open space office. It surprised me a lot that every morning, whoever arrived, walked through the whole office and greeted everybody with a handshake and some personal words. It did not matter if the team members came, the bosses from higher up or anybody from another department. It was known everywhere that here you greet everybody personally.
For the first week, I found that very strange and a bit intimidating. Also, it cost a lot of time all in all. Yet afterwards, I really enjoyed it. It gave everybody the chance to get to know the colleagues a bit better, to hear what they are off to or to realize that somebody is not in or just returned from a trip or vacation. There was no need to e-mail weekly lists on who is out when. We just knew it.
Btw, when I moved on to another job, I sort of missed it.
I love it! And in fact, one simple tool we teach people in our speeches and workshops is to greet co-workers with a level-5 good morning. This means a good morning, where you:
- Make eye contact
- Add something specific to that person
- Touch the other person.
How do you greet your co-workers? How do you like to be greeted when you come in in the morning?