Every organisation must ensure employee connectivity. As more people adopt hybrid working methods, technology-assisted interactions and meetings become more common. However, this does not necessarily mean that employees feel connected to one another.
In fact, according to BetterUp Lab’s recent report, “The Connection Crisis: Why Community Matters in the New World of Work”, as cited in Human Resources Online’s recent article, employees are less connected to one another than ever before.
The study, which involved over 3,000 workers in the US identified several trends, which are among others:
- 61% of employees do not socialize with coworkers outside of work.
- 53% dislike collaborating with their coworkers
- 44% of employees lack a true friend at work
- 43% feel disconnected from their coworkers
- 38% distrust their coworkers
The results are alarming, as employees who do not feel like they belong are reportedly more stressed out at work, more likely to experience burnout, lonelier, and more likely to experience anxiety and depression.
In the wake of the Great Resignation last year, many employers began putting employee experience at the top of their corporate priorities. As well as increasing rewards and creating a positive work environment, it is also important to ensure that people in the workplace feel connected to each other; beyond virtual meetings, in order to create engaged employees and happy workplaces.
In what ways can we foster meaningful communication, collaboration, and connection between employees?
- Ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable at work:
It is important that everyone feels comfortable and safe at work, and this can be achieved through an open and welcoming environment. Employees can exchange personal stories and anecdotes regularly, as well as participate in social events that can help them get to know each other in a relaxed setting.
- Ask employees for their opinions and thoughts:
Listen to what they have to say. Surveys and polls can be used to accomplish this, making it easier for everyone to participate and feel included.
- Create a culture of kindness and care in the workplace
A culture of kindness and care in the workplace goes a long way to preventing loneliness. By helping team members understand their importance in the team, leaders can also instil a sense of belonging in them.
Many of us spend a great deal of time at work. In this sense, connecting with employees and creating a work environment that brings out the best in them is one of the best things a company can do.