Kristen’s blog ‘How To Increase Productivity In Your Team’, got me thinking about something I recently read…

In popular psychology there is the idea that we live simultaneously in two different worlds—one governed by social norms (the rules or behaviors considered acceptable by society) and the other by market norms (exchanges that occur in the business world).

It’s suggested that if or when these two worlds meet it can have serious consequences.

For example, imagine your old friend and ex colleague, Richard, sent you through a draft of a big presentation he was preparing for, asking for feedback.

You’d happily make notes and send it back, not expecting anything in return.

Now imagine, when he sent it he also offered $25 for your services.

How do you think you would you feel? Uncomfortable and maybe a little insulted, right?

This is because Richard has made the mistake of mixing a market norm with a social norm. And when you do that, the social relationship is violated.

This poses an interesting dilemma for firms trying to cultivate a modern working relationship with employees.

Back when ‘nine-to-five’ actually meant you worked from nine to five, the exchange between a firm and its employees was strictly market norm orientated.

Then one day, some clever person came up with a bright idea:

If people are willing to work harder when motivated by a social norm rather than a market norm, why not recreate a social relationship in the workplace?

Enter the modern working relationship.

Google and Facebook, who provide employees with things like free lunch, nap pods and access to gyms, are perfect examples of companies who utilize this to their advantage.

Their unique company culture creates a social relationship that motivates employees to disregard the ‘time-clock mentality’ of the past, and work like they are helping out a friend.

This equates to longer hours, a greater commitment and stronger loyalty.

And the best part is, employees genuinely feel happier and more fulfilled when they feel like they are ‘part of the family’.

The problem occurs when, amongst cost-cuts and short term profits, firms begin to lose sight of the long term advantages of the social relationship they have with their employees and dip back into the market norm.

Here at JTN we know firms are most effective when the people responsible for its success are consistently performing to the best of their abilities.

As a decision maker, it falls to you to motivate and inspire your people to achieve their goals, excel in specific areas, and ultimately deliver results. In other words, cultivate a social relationship.

If you’re struggling to build the all-star team you want, get in touch. We can help you manage your people so that you nourish individual growth, see consistent improvement and have a team with high job satisfaction.

After all, a happy team is an effective team.