Well, quite simply, connected teams drive collaboration, nurture healthy working relationships, and promote knowledge-sharing. The more connected we are as colleagues, the more inclusive and efficient our workplace will be.
What is connection though? People connect in various ways, for example a team member might really connect with a particular concept or project and give it their all. Another colleague might emotionally connect with your organisation’s values or purpose and find another level of meaning in their role that previously didn’t exist for them. Connection might be as simple as strong workplace friendships between colleagues.
Employees feeling connected is pivotal to creating an inclusive workplace. It’s about relating: to people, ideas, objectives, perspectives, backgrounds, and values. If you can get your people to relate to each other even a little bit better, you’re already on the way to creating a more connected workplace.
Ideas to help people feel more connected to your organisation
For line managers
Interact frequently, even if nothing comes out of it. Not every 1:1 is going to be hugely productive and informative. Nevertheless, continue to express an interest in what they’re working on and learn how you can help support them.
Engage without assuming. Your people’s excitement about a particular project or attachment to your organisation’s values might fluctuate week to week. So, it’s important not to put them into a box. If they’ve expressed excitement or connection to a specific type of work, offer that work to them the next time it comes around, but don’t assume they’ll always be willing.
Celebrate – often! Cultivating a habit of effortless recognition and celebration is key to helping your people feel appreciated. Give everyone permission to celebrate in their own unique way – and remember to do it often!
- Keep values front and centre. Find ways to help your people understand, remember and practice your core values. Connect these values to behaviour and performance.
- Foster a sense of belonging. People need to be able to bring their true selves to work and know that their colleagues and organisation is there to support them.
- Think of your organisation as a community. A community is a place where members are supported, respected, and even loved. It’s also a place where work is unified, and goals are shared. If you think of your organisation in this way, it becomes easier to forge important and supportive connections. Many of our clients have made great progress with turning their organisations into a community. Their dedicated entertainment and engagement committees ensure there are regular social events, charity and corporate social responsibility activities that unite their purpose and people. Many also host an annual awards event to celebrate individual and team contributions to their community.
Connecting with your people, especially across departmental lines, is important to the success of any organisation. Remember it’s going to be a group effort. Keep that in mind as you encourage your line managers and teams to interact with and relate to each other and together you’ll build a more connected workplace.