The Importance of Connection in the Workplace

4 min. read

With remote work, there are new challenges to a sense of belonging in the workplace -- and new opportunities

Employees are feeling alone at work. According to a recent survey, 46 percent of workers said they are likely to leave their job because of loneliness. Perhaps this is because of the increase in remote working. It could also be because of cultural shifts that reduce our opportunities to create personal connections both inside and outside work. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: workplaces have an opportunity to make work feel like a place of belonging.

Building connection among employees is good for everyone. The same survey shows that 85 percent of workers who have strong connections with coworkers say it has positively impacted their career, and those employees are much more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. Let's examine some ways that workplaces can build connection!

Harvard Business Review shares some excellent starting points:

  1. Make connection a ritual. Set aside time each day and/or week specifically for teams to spend time together. Use this time to show appreciation for each other, simply socialize, tell corny (work-appropriate) jokes, or play games.
  2. Make it easy to ask for support. Create time and develop methods for employees to connect directly. Some organizations might want to start an employee group that meets regularly to discuss potential asks from management. Others might want to invite some employees to volunteer to collect feedback and requests. Either way, this is done with encouragement and approval from leadership.
  3. Make cool experiences for new employees with existing employees. Onboard employees with a process that exposes them to other employees. This process should cover mentorship, support, and socialization. Pair new employees with experienced employees, set aside designated time for teams to hang out with their new teammates, and celebrate every onboarding together. Throughout this, encourage employees that it is always safe to ask questions in all of these contexts.
  4. Make time off real and safe. Employees who feel like they are "on the clock" all the time can struggle to build safe and genuine connection at work. Ensure that after-work hours are respected, time-off is encouraged and celebrated, and family leave gives people the space to take care of their lives.

Here at Amazing Workplace, we have a few additional recommendations when it comes to communication with your workplace on the whole:

  1. Remind the workplace that all of us go to work to live life. This means acknowledging that most people work to earn money so they can live the life they want.
  2. Remind the workplace that all of us have things we love about work and things we love in life. Encourage employees to make time for the things that matter to them most in life.
  3. Remind the workplace that while each of our interests or hobbies may be different from those we work with – all interests and hobbies should be admired. Mention that it is never “cool” to make fun of the things that matter most to a person.

This is important stuff! Employees who connect with and admire their co-workers are 42% more likely to plan to stay at the company a long time. This reduces turnover, increases diversity, and helps attract new talent.

Amazing Workplace's Smart Survey Platform ® can help you see how your employees are feeling about their sense of belonging, their feelings about their co-workers, and their dedication to the company on the whole. Start with a survey today for free! If you love the survey process, you can reach out to our team to get your detailed results.