Social Connections in the Workplace
Intentional connection is crucial for our wellbeing. The impact of loneliness is said to be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Loneliness is not attributed to the number of connections we have but to the quality and perception of our connections. Fostering meaningful connections at work can help create greater engagement and a higher sense of meaning and purpose. Research tells us that having solid connections at work is a clear indicator of engagement - a precursor for performance. And, in a hybrid or remote environment, creating connections can take up to three times the effort. The investment is worth it!
Here are a few tips and resources to support connection at work.
- Create a social spot in the workplace where employees can chat and connect (or a channel on Microsoft Teams or other online or in-person collaboration tool)
- Host team-building events quarterly and connect departments through events and challenges
- Do daily check-ins using emojis, an emotion wheel or the Mental Health Continuum Model
- Hold monthly optional online lunch hour or evening game nights, book club, etc.
- If you use Microsoft TEAMS, use the integrated praise function
- Use the first five to ten minutes of every meeting for human connection
- Create a work family wall where people post photos from trips/pets/kids
- Start the morning with a fun question of the day (i.e., favourite animal)
- Provide work-related activities (i.e., trivia, hiking, laughter yoga)
- Start a Thank You Thursday routine – say thanks to one peer every Thursday
- Do an empathetic check-in with one person each week. This means below the surface to see how employees are doing.