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Finally, a Solution to Low Employee Connection

6 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

The thought of a highly connected, collaborative, and supportive team probably sounds like a dream come true. But it can be a reality. If your organisation is committed to implementing changes that foster employee connection, you can create a welcoming workplace.

When we talk about employee connection, we are referring to the sense of belonging your employees feel when they turn up in their work environment. That includes everything from the ways they interact with each other to how they feel about your core values. Friendships, personal connections, and relationships with managers are key to staying connected.

Why is Employee Connection Important? 

Put simply, a feeling of connection or belonging is a huge motivator. Most people perform better, feel more engaged and are happier when they feel strong connections at work. 

You can also significantly boost social wellbeing in the workplace, by paying attention to how well those connections are made and maintained. 

The Effect of Remote Work on Employee Connection

The rise in hybrid and remote working has changed the landscape when it comes to connecting at work. There are new challenges to consider when everyone isn’t pitching up at the same office every day.

Pew Research found that 53% of those who work from home at least some of the time say it hurts their ability to feel connected with co-workers. Don’t worry. It is still possible for teams to be well-connected and for employees to feel a deep sense of belonging. You just need to be a little creative.

How to Build a Connected Team in 2024

Team building has come a long way in recent years. Forced fun is out, and human-centric cultures and team-driven activities are in. That means paying attention to the kind of things that.

Be sure to ask your employees where their interests lie before you develop your strategy and put plenty of time into planning remote team building alongside in-person events. 

At Mo, making sure employees feel connected is central to what we do. We want every member of a team to feel as though they’re important and that their input makes a difference, that’s why we put such a focus on communication. Want to feel the same way? Here are our tips for getting started. 

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The 5 Step Solution to Improve Employee Connection 

1. Research Connection Gaps

To create an employee connection strategy that’s going to get results, start by seeing what’s already working well – and what needs improvement. Ask these questions:

  • Are there areas where you can see clear connections?
  • Are your teams quite closely knit, but there’s a disconnect when it comes to the wider culture?
  • Do you feel as though everyone understands and believes in your company’s core values?
  • Do you have a culture of fun with opportunities for natural communication and collaboration? 

Once you’ve made a few observations, be sure to survey your team members. This is a great way to not only see what your employees are thinking but also to ask for suggestions for long-term improvement. Schedule one-to-one meetings to chat through questions of connection too. Sometimes, it’s the real-world conversations that bring unexpected insights. 

2. Create New Connection Opportunities

The strategies you choose will depend on the gaps you’ve identified, but here are a few smart suggestions to improve employee connection:

📞 Improve Communication Structures

The lines of communication should always be clear and easy to access in your business. Some will be top-down, like presentations from your leaders, but some should be open and democratic, like a digital communication platform

🫱🏽‍🫲🏼 Introduce Peer-to-peer Recognition 

Giving employees an easy way to celebrate each other is an excellent way to boost feelings of community and collaboration. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition and give your team the power to make connections themselves. 

🤸🏻‍♂️ Organise Social Events and Activities

If you want your team to feel connected to your company and each other, you need to give them time to play. Whether that looks like regular pizza parties or dress-up days, depends on your company personality. Why not set up a ‘fun committee’, and give employees a budget and time to set up social activities themselves? 

👩🏾‍💻 Embrace Digital Tools

There are lots of ways you can use tools to decrease the digital divide between the employees who work from home and the ones in the office.

From Zoom and Teams to ensure all meetings have a hybrid element, to simple communication channels like Slack, to using videos or online training when it’s time to upskill – equalising experience is easy.  

3. Clearly Communicate New Plans

Before launching into your brand-new plans and opportunities, take the time to think about how you’ll communicate the changes. If you want to create a sense of connection, you need to also build trust. Jump right in with a ton of new initiatives that don’t make sense to your team, and you may end up with the opposite effect.  

Not everyone may be familiar with the value of building a connected workplace, so introduce the idea at a company meeting. Lay out the ways you’d like to see things changing and the benefits you see them having. By laying this groundwork, you make it much easier for people to buy in. 

4. Make Time for Connection

Friendships are very important when it comes to connection. Gallup reports that having best friends at work helps keep employees informed, accountable and connected to their team. So, make sure you give those friendships space to grow during working hours as well as out. 

Set up a regular time for employees to get together and chat over coffee, whether that’s in person or online. Use a rota or randomiser, to make sure that people can take time to build existing relationships, as well as talking to people outside their teams. 

5. Create a Feedback Loop

As with any strategy, your employee connection campaign is only as successful as your investment in it. Plan the time to assess how your various efforts are going and adjust as necessary. Be sure to get feedback from your team before making any big changes.

Also, bear in mind that your company is always evolving, and that means your strategy should too. It’s much easier for a small, close-knit company to feel connected than one that’s just gone through a huge expansion, for example. Stay fluid and introduce new strands as necessary.

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Mo makes employee connection easy

Maintaining Employee Connections Takes Work

You can’t make people be friends and you can’t insist that employees believe in all your core values, but you can give them good reasons to connect. Be sure about what you stand for and be prepared to shout all about it. 

Within our company, we use our Mo platform to check in with our employees all the time. We encourage them to chat and share ideas and we’re quick to recognise their contributions, because how else are you going to make sure those connections go both ways?

Mo is a next-generation employee recognition and engagement platform that’s designed to help you make those all-important connections. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues. Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today.

Employee Connection: Key Takeaways

  • Employee connection refers to the sense of belonging employees feel in their work environment, including interactions with colleagues and alignment with company values.
  • Strong employee connection boosts motivation, engagement, and social well-being at work, leading to better performance and job satisfaction.
  • Building a connected team involves researching connection gaps, creating new connection opportunities, clearly communicating plans, making time for connection and creating a feedback loop for continuous improvement.

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