Foster a caring and productive workplace.
Demonstrating you care builds trust and gives an employee a sense of belonging, both of which have been shown to increase job performance.
The best managers recognize that people want to build meaningful friendships and that loyalty and satisfaction are built on such relationships.
What we know:
- Employee disconnection is one of the main drivers of voluntary turnover.
- Employees who experience high levels of belonging have a drop in turnover risk, an increase in job performance, a reduction in sick days, and an increase in job satisfaction.
- Employees who have a workplace ‘best friend’ are seven times more engaged.
What you can do:
The best managers encourage friendships in the workplace by creating the conditions under which such friendships and relationships can thrive.
- Know the characteristics of a connected team:
- Trust -- Confidence in one another’s reliability and dependability.
- Teamwork -- Appreciation of one another’s talents and strengths; can tackle challenges together.
- Emotional Loyalty -- Loyalty to the team is passionate, expressive, and deep-seated.
- Routinely ask yourself:
- Do my employees trust one another and me?
- Does my team work well together?
- How am I building friendships at work?
- How do I create more opportunities to foster friendships?
- Create space for connection between and among team members
- Use the first 10 minutes at the start of a unit/department meeting for social interaction.
- Ask team members to share what they are working on and encourage questions.
- Utilize teambuilding and icebreaker activities.
- Leading Effective Teams: Engaging and Motivating Employees
Note: Many articles and studies in recent years have taken a closer look at connection in the workplace, especially with the growing number of remote and hybrid workers. The strategies and insights are applicable regardless of work modality.
- Support your team’s relationships and partnerships [Gallup, login required]
- How to build a connected workplace [article]
- How Leaders Can Build Connection in a Disconnected Workplace [article]
- 5 Easy Ways to Create Stronger Workplace Connection [article]
- Creating an Environment That Promotes Interaction and Develops Relationships [Gallup article]
Additional Recommendations and References
- Take steps to create an environment where team members feel valued, respected, and cared about.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person [Gallup, login required]
- Leading effective teams: building an inclusive workgroup culture [LinkedIn Learning collection]
- Support wellness and wellbeing.
- 10 ways leaders can improve engagement and wellbeing [Gallup, login required]
- Direct team members to the wellness resources available Human Resources
- Consider the needs of fully in-person, fully-remote, and hybrid team members
- Leading Effective Teams: Building an Inclusive Workgroup Culture [LinkedIn Learning collection]
- How Managers Create a Culture of Belonging [LinkedIn Learning course, 57m]
- Building Trust with Colleagues in the Workplace [LinkedIn Learning path]
- I know what is expected of me at work [Gallup, login required]
- At work, my opinions seem to count [Gallup, login required]
- How managers can prevent team burnout [LinkedIn Learning course, 50m]