15 Nov 2021

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL

Social capital refers to our network and our network means our ‘Net Worth’. The network is both outsides and within the organization. It defines how effectively you are connected with people from within your company that you are able to draw onto their expertise and help whenever you require and the extent to which you do that defines your social capital.

Organizations provide us with an opportunity to work together with each other. Hence developing that social capital is very important in an organization. Not just with people from our team but other teams as well. When we are working in an organization we need support from everybody. And that in itself explains the importance of social capital. Sometimes poor social capital lags your performance way behind the actual performance.

Often developing that social capital becomes very easy when you are working in an open space office environment than in a closed or remote workspace as this encourages communication in a better dimension. In open office spaces, you develop your social capital when you are moving around, talking with people, or even while having coffee together. And that effort in creating social capital is going to be of benefit for you when you act and turn out as a leader. But in this norm of working from home, developing that social capital has taken a beating.

People tend to feel disconnected as face to face interactions and meetings have diminished to drastic levels. Their productivity had decreased and so had their levels of innovation.

Now when we realize this there should be some ways to improve these factors and support our social capital. Four things that can forge that connection between you and your teams are:

  • Conducting frequent and regular one to one with your team so that your team feels connected and works in sync. Team engagements render better performances. Therefore, having these ones to one is an effective way to engage and form connections with your team.
  • Make space for social capital to thrive. Expecting our teams to work for 10 hours or 12 hours, we take away the space for social capital to thrive at all. Because all that they are doing is focusing on things available in front of them. As a leader, you should take it as our responsibility and search for ways that your team is able to thrive in terms of social capital.
  • Reward and encourage social support. We need to understand the importance of rewards in the organization. Just rewarding teams for their performance in terms of a number of results in the organization is not enough. We need to also pay heed to people getting out of their way to help someone from the teams and making connections for the overall growth should also be rewarded. When people feel encouraged and appreciated for the acts they start doing more of it.
  • Make the meeting intentional. Whenever you are going to have a meeting, what are you going to cover in that meeting? It is equally important to have the right set of people in the team, a proper agenda, and also that people have a voice in that meeting. So, work towards making these meetings more intentional and giving people that particular space. Making meetings intentional also means where you have some opportunity to connect with each other at a more personal level.

So these are a few things which we can take care of while setting on a routine to working from home. Now, this is time for you to focus on yourself and analyze where you lie in terms of being proactive? Rather than blaming the environment for not being favorable as you are working from home, you are feeling more disconnected. Everybody is working this way and that way and the team is not working well, while a proactive leader does certain things to keep the performance motivation rising no matter what problems or issues we are facing.

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