Workplace Connections: The Key to Belonging
As social, purpose-driven beings, we thrive off of our relationships with others. In many ways, they serve as the foundation upon which we live our lives and the richness and satisfaction we experience.
There are many different types of relationships. From family to friends, colleagues to mentors, we all have interactions that contribute to our overall well being.
The workplace is one such environment where the relationships we build can have a profound impact on both our professional and personal lives. In fact, studies show that strong social connections at work can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation, lower stress levels, and even better physical health.
But what does it mean to have strong social connections at work, exactly?
Connection In The Professional Context
In a broad sense, connection is a strong relationship built on trust, mutual respect, and communication. It’s a relationship in which we feel supported and valued, and where we can be ourselves without fear of judgment. In the professional world, these types of relationships are essential for a healthy and productive work environment.
There are a number of reasons why it’s vital for employees to feel a strong connection to their workplace. First, it can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation. When we feel like we’re part of something larger than ourselves and that our work is meaningful, we’re more likely to be engaged and enthusiastic about our jobs. Additionally, a strong sense of connection can lead to better physical health. Studies have shown that employees who feel disconnected from their work are more likely to experience high levels of stress, which can have a negative impact on both our mental and physical health. Lastly, feeling connected to team members just makes work more fun. Collaboration and ideation takes on a new meaning and we start to see the excitement in our daily work lives.
Ways Employees Can Be Connected To Their Workplace
There are a number of factors in any workplace that can lead people to feel as if they are a part of its greater whole. Here are a few of the most notable.
A sense of belonging to a community or team. Feeling like you’re part of something larger than yourself can encourage employees to work harder and be more invested in their company’s success.
Strong relationships with colleagues. When team members trust and respect one another, it leads to a more positive work environment and increased collaboration.
A feeling of safety and security. People who feel like they can be themselves at work and don’t have to worry about judgment are more likely to be productive and engaged.
A sense of purpose. People who believe in the mission of their company are more likely to be motivated and invested in its success.
The Challenges Employees Face In Trying To Connect To People And A Purpose At Work
There are a few challenges that employees face when trying to connect to people and a purpose at work. One is a lack of trust. In any relationship, trust is essential. And in the workplace, it’s no different. People who don’t feel like they can trust their colleagues or management are less likely to be engaged and productive.
A lack of open communication can also create a barrier to meaningful connections. When people don’t feel like they can openly communicate with their co-workers or supervisors, it can lead to a feeling of isolation and disconnection.
Lastly, it’s important that there is a sense of mutuality in any relationship. Both parties should feel like they are getting something out of the relationship. When people feel like they are the only ones putting in the effort to connect, it can lead to resentment and frustration.
Ways Organizations Can Shift Their Culture In Favor Of Better Workplace Connections
When we feel connected to others, we’re more likely to feel like we’re part of a community — like we belong to something bigger and deeper.
Empowering people to connect and foster strong relationships with coworkers is an important part of building a culture of belonging. There are a number of ways that companies can create an environment that fosters strong social connections among employees.
Encourage social activities outside of work. This can help employees get to know one another on a personal level and build trust and respect.
Promote open communication. Encouraging employees to share their thoughts and feelings openly can help create a more positive and productive work environment.
Make time for one-on-one interactions. Giving employees the opportunity to connect with their colleagues on a personal level can help foster stronger relationships.
Lead by example. Managers and supervisors should model the behavior they want to see in their employees. If they are open and communicative, their employees are more likely to be as well.
A strong sense of connection to the workplace is essential for employees. By supporting the factors that build it, employers can create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone.
Vityl deploys pulse surveys to encourage open communication. Our consultant-approved nudges can help your people foster and maintain enriching relationships with each other and the mission of your organization. To learn more about rolling out Vityl at your organization, visit vityl.io/pricing.