Does your workforce feel connected to the company? Do your corporate values and culture match theirs? Is there a sense of bonding among your team members? Workplace connection can be exemplified in many ways as it is affected by many aspects of the work environment. Shall you focus on one more than another? Definitely not.
Connected employees are undeniably happier and more engaged with the business. However, recent changes in the way we work such as the development of remote work and digital technologies sometimes lead to feelings of disconnection. Experts call this phenomenon: the ‘Great Disconnection’. Ironically, tech is also one of the main solutions to foster connectedness within the workspace. We will discuss how at the end of this article. Because employee centricity is now a major topic for managers and HR teams, knowing how to improve connections in the workplace is essential. Here are key information and recommendations to help you embrace this topic better.
What is workplace connection? Definition and examples
A simple definition of workplace connection
Workplace connection encompasses everything that triggers a feeling of belonging among your workforce. What makes them think your company is a match? Why do they want to work there? What makes them stay? The reasons are endless. For instance, they can feel connected to:
the organizational culture;
the vision and the values you promote;
the projects they work on;
the relationships they develop with their colleagues;
the working model you choose to adopt.
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A sense of connection with the company itself
More and more people, especially Gen Z, are looking for a job that matches their personal values. Working for a company that has a positive impact and is aligned with their beliefs has become a must for many employees. Consequently, their job and the organization they work for must suit who they are.
A sense of purpose
Your employees can simply feel connected because of the responsibilities you assign to them and the challenges you allow them to take on. Working on a purpose-driven project automatically boosts your team member’s motivation and reminds them of the great parts of their job and the impact it has. This provides a great source of motivation and definitely creates a special link between your workers and what they are doing.
A meaningful social connection
This is maybe the first thing that comes to mind when talking about workplace connection: the social aspect of our professional lives. Meeting new people, interacting with colleagues, learning from each other, and even creating workplace friendships. Human relationships at work are crucial and play a very big part in workplace connection.
The perfect fit
We all have different visions about how work should be done and its purpose in our lives. Some people see it as only a means for paying the bills (even though this is becoming less and less the case with new generations), others consider their job as a way to have a bigger impact.
Why is having connected employees so important? A key aspect of people’s and businesses' goals
Are you wondering what can enhance employee experience and foster happiness in the workplace? One of the core reasons for having connected employees is that it improves the overall work experience. Creating meaningful relationships with colleagues fosters greater job satisfaction so people come to work with a better mindset. They are more engaged, more proactive, and spread a good mood.
This affects your business in many ways including:
A better connection in the workplace also encourages collaboration. This results in sharing expertise and enhancing teamwork, leading to better overall performance. Moreover, employees get to know each other’s ways of working, which contributes to greater efficiency as well. The ultimate outcome is an increase in employee productivity.
As mentioned, how a team member feels toward a specific project or job also improves connectedness. A person who is passionate is a lot more involved. Not only does it positively impact employees’ well-being and experience, but it also makes them more innovative and dedicated to their mission.
Talent retention and attraction
When you are happy about something you naturally talk about it. Workers who feel aligned with their job and company culture, or are simply connected to their team also do. Having a fulfilled workforce is a great asset because they will share how they feel and inspire their peers within the workplace. Plus, they will talk about it outside of work as well.
In the era of Great Resignation, it is important to attract new prospects and spread a positive image of your company. With an increasing number of people expressing that they feel disconnected from their professional life, workplace connection is more important than ever to retain your workforce and attract top talent. Creating a strong bond between your workers and their colleagues or the organization as a whole helps respond to the current employees’ and corporations’ issues.
How to improve connection in the workplace? 6 effective recommendations to boost it
1. Focus more on the onboarding process
The onboarding experience either reassures new joiners that they’ve made the right choice or makes them realize they don’t feel connected to the job, your values, and your vision. Therefore it is crucial for HR departments to focus on this aspect as it is THE moment to show employees why they belong. This includes supporting them as much as possible, planning social events to create connections with their new colleagues, sharing relevant information, and so on.
2. Create cross-functional teams
Have you heard about cross-functional collaboration? You can read our Medium article regarding cross-functional teams to understand what it is its benefits, such as encouraging teamwork and getting to know each other. Employees learn from each other and have a deeper understanding of what others’ jobs consist of. They also discover the personality of their colleagues and can adapt their communication accordingly.
3. Meet your employees’ expectations
Your workforce is the most valuable asset you have. This is why the focus on employee-centricity is becoming increasingly relevant. You must meet your workers’ needs to motivate them, encourage success and increase retention. A company that creates an environment that responds to its employees’ expectations makes them feel that they are at the right place with the right people. Why would they want to leave if they feel connected to the values you promote, the working model you offer, and their teammates?
👉Do you want to know more about what your workforce needs? Discover 14 employees’ expectations examples that every company should know about.
4. Offer hybrid instead of fully remote opportunities
People are looking for better work-life balance and more flexibility in their professional lives and hybrid work models seem to be the perfect answer. It enables employees to collaborate virtually or in-person as they wish to. Flexible working help avoids loneliness, maintain connections and sustain a positive organizational culture. It allows team members to come to the office regularly to meet their colleagues and reconnect with the workspace while also balancing their personal life.
5. Choose digital tools that foster teamwork
How do you connect with colleagues digitally? Online work sometimes disconnects employees from their team and the workplace, but why not turn things around and use digital tools to reconnect them? Many workplace technologies support you in doing so such as virtual-reality devices, for example. Your team can attend a meeting with everybody in the room, whether they are present in reality or virtually. A hybrid space management system like deskbird is another key technology for a hybrid workplace. Workers can easily plan their flexible schedule, book their favorite meeting room, reserve a desk, choose who they want to work next to, etc.
6. Organize rituals and events to encourage connection
Social events after work are a great way to bond with colleagues and create a positive work environment. You can also organize in-person or online activities to foster connection such as coffee breaks with your team once a week. It is a moment when they can talk about anything, either work-related or not. The goal is to promote a friendly atmosphere where people can share their thoughts, ask questions and discuss any topic. This will enhance feelings of being part of a community, valued, and connected.
The deskbird app helps your team build strong workplace connections. How? By providing them with a tool that fosters interactions. Thanks to the week planning feature, not only do they plan their week according to work duties but they can also organize schedules based on their teammates’ timetables. Our interactive floor plan lets employees decide when they meet virtually and on-site and easily find their colleagues. Do you want to have a glimpse at how our workspace booking solution can connect your workforce?