3 Key Differences Between Connected and Disconnected Employees

  • Author: Melanie Haniph

In our recently released research report, The Imbalanced State of Employee Connections at Work, we introduced findings exploring the impact of workplace connections on the employee experience. Survey results revealed two distinct groups: Connected Employees and Disconnected Employees. 

Our study identified one significant similarity between Connected and Disconnected Employees: most employees want to feel connected at work. However, less than half of our survey respondents (44%) said they felt connected. In taking a closer look at both groups of employees, we found some critical differences that helped to explain their attitudes about workplace connection.

Three Important Distinctions Between Connected and Disconnected Employees

Research points to the many benefits of a connected workforce, including higher engagement, productivity, and employee belonging, to name a few. But if less than half of your employees feel connected at work, it’s critical to understand why. Here are three differences between Connected and Disconnected Employees you should know:

1. Attitudes About Trust 

Connected Employees are more likely to trust their coworkers, manager, and others in the workplace. Like the “super-connected” employees from our 2022 study, Connected Employees believe their organization prioritizes employees over profits, and they trust the organization to do the right thing. Conversely, Disconnected Employees are largely distrustful of others in the workplace. They say their organization claims to care about its employees, but acts differently behind the scenes.

2. Likelihood of Leaving

Connected Employees in our survey were nearly three times more likely than Disconnected Employees to say they planned to stay with their employer for at least the next year. Compensation, work-life balance, and feeling valued were the top reasons why. Interestingly, disappointments in the same areas made Disconnected Employees more likely to say they planned to leave.

3. Perceived Obstacles to Workplace Connection

One key reason Disconnected Employees feel the way they do is because they believe the organization’s culture stands in the way of meaningful connection. These respondents were much more likely than Connected Employees to say their organization’s policies, structure, and leaders made it difficult to feel connected. Overall, they felt the organization could do more to cultivate connections. On the flip side, Connected Employees said their organization did a great job of supporting employee connections, even during tough times and company layoffs.

How to Help Employees Feel More Connected at Work

Given the benefits of a super-connected workforce, it’s understandable that HR and internal communications teams want to create employee experiences that promote meaningful employee connections. Our latest research aims to help you accomplish just that; it offers practical tips to jumpstart employee connections and promote better engagement, morale, and belonging. Throughout the year, we will continue releasing new research insights, all designed to help organizations improve employee connections and, ultimately, the employee experience.  

To learn more, check out the full Employee Connection report and follow us on LinkedIn.

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