Building a Connected Workplace: 4 Tips for Getting Started
- Author: Melanie Haniph
Results from our Employee Connections Study revealed there’s no one-size-fits-all when creating experiences that support a connected workforce. Employees come to work with diverse needs and expectations and, therefore, different ways of connecting with their work, coworkers, and manager.
As we analyzed employee survey responses in our study, we uncovered four key actions organizations can take to provide more connection-rich employee experiences. We’ve summarized the actions here in this quick reference guide.
1. Leverage Multiple Avenues for Employees to Connect
Our study found that employees value activities that help them feel part of a team. Whether large or small, opportunities to create interaction, provide feedback, share goals, and have transparent conversations are key to collaboration and connection.
Therefore, evaluate how well the following activities help employees connect with their coworkers and leaders:
- Team meetings
- One-on-one meetings
- Informal employee get-togethers
- Company/all-hands meetings
2. Promote Your Company Values
Our research findings reinforce the idea that you must move beyond the basics (fair pay, benefits, and recognition) to cultivate a truly connected workplace. You must also prioritize the activities and experiences that promote your values while also helping employees connect with their coworkers, managers, and work.
Possible actions include:
- Clarifying career path options and growth opportunities
- Delivering diversity and inclusion programs that help employees feel they belong
- Creating a volunteerism program to build culture and strengthen bonds with the local community
- Developing social responsibility initiatives that encourage employee participation
- Establishing a clear rewards and recognition program
3. Train Managers to Teach and Coach
Survey respondents in our study said they learn the most at work from managers and others in their organization, more than company resources and traditional training programs.
But for employees to benefit, managers must be equipped to teach and coach. Consider offering the following to develop your managers into stronger leaders:
- Formal leadership training
- 360° feedback programs
- Developmental job experiences, such as rotations and task force leadership
- Mentorship from senior leaders
4. Make Work Flexibility a Mainstay of Your Culture
The majority of employees in our study (62%) said they worked virtually to some degree, and most (72%) said they wanted to keep it that way. They also said they engaged with roughly the same number of coworkers during the pandemic as they did before, suggesting that employees still have opportunities to connect when working from home.
There are many factors to consider when deciding if continued remote or hybrid work makes sense in your organization. However, you’ll need to be mindful of employee preferences and the reality that remote and hybrid work can indeed offer rich opportunities for employees to connect.
For additional findings from our survey and insights to help you build a connected workplace, download the full Employee Connections study.