Research shows time and time again that connected employees make fewer mistakes, contribute higher quality work, are more satisfied, and are much more likely to stay at their organization for many years. But with 65% of employees feeling isolated from their coworkers, it’s clear these connections don’t happen overnight and without intention.
Strong workplace connections must be built and actively nurtured, with effort from both workers and the organizations that employ them.
What Is a Connected Workplace?
A connected workplace is one that sees employees connect to each other, to the organization (including the mission, vision, and values), and to their own individual purpose.
Connection is the glue that holds an organization together and the engine that propels it forward. Therefore, you need the right HR tools to facilitate conversations, camaraderie, and collaboration — the elements of a connected culture.
The Importance of Connection in the Workplace
Workplace connection plays an important role in employee well-being and retention, as disconnected employees report higher anxiety, depression, burnout, and stress. They're also three times more likely to quit.
Connection extends to operations as well, going hand in hand with communication and collaboration. Without all three, your business is less productive and runs less smoothly, so improving connection in the workplace should be a top priority.
The Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” movements have shown employers their workforces are willing to leave. So, organizations need to pivot from quick fixes like bonuses or free coffee to what employees truly need: connection.
1. Encourage and Embed Peer Recognition
Regularly celebrate personal and professional wins. Encourage employees to call out successes in real time and keep these acknowledgments as a record of their greatest achievements. This empowers employees to be active participants in your workplace culture, increasing satisfaction and reducing turnover.
Investing in dedicated peer recognition tools allows your employees to easily give and receive appreciation. This helps everybody feel a sense of belonging, fuels connection, reduces loneliness, and boosts productivity.
2. Decrease the Digital Divide in Remote and Hybrid Workplaces
Roughly three-quarters of employees say a shift to hybrid work environments improved their organization’s culture. But without the daily social events like water cooler chats and spur-of-the-moment happy hour outings, connection can dwindle or even disappear.
Organizations with hybrid or remote workspaces need to be intentional and creative about providing opportunities for connection. HR technology that offers connection-building capabilities can help.
Your HCM solution should be able to convey warmth, excitement, and depth of connection across your organization, whether employees are onsite or working from home. Digital-first engagement strategies can also apply to deskless employees who spend most of their time in the field, or to connect employees who may not work the same shift or season.
3. Give Employees a Voice
Employees are more likely to feel connected to their organizations when it’s clear their input is not only welcomed but also valued. To this end, organizations should be intentional about proactively and regularly reaching out to employees to solicit feedback.
Employee surveys provide an avenue for individuals to speak up, and acting on said feedback (where possible) helps your employees feel like their voices matter.
What’s more, regularly leveraging surveys enables your organization to gather insights about systemic issues with employee engagement, identify winning retention strategies, encourage bright new ideas, and more.
4. Centralize and Open Lines of Communication
Employees want intuitive and accessible communication channels that work for them. Think mobile capabilities, video, and social media-esque communication hubs they don’t have to learn because the technology is already familiar.
Communication should work on their schedule and wherever they go, so utilize channels they can check while waiting in line for their latte or after pulling into the parking lot to pick their kids up from school.
Invest in communication platforms that integrate essential communication — organization updates, file sharing, and messages from the CEO — and opportunities to connect on a human-to-human level. Communication should also be bi-directional, so everybody can participate.
Improving Connection with HR Technology
There are a variety of strategies for improving connection in the workplace, and HR tech can be an essential partner for executing these tactics.
Paylocity’s all-in-one HR and payroll solution includes a comprehensive suite of employee experience tools, all designed to strengthen the connections between your organization and employees.
Learn more about how Paylocity can help HR pros foster the connections employees need to stay engaged, satisfied, productive, and loyal to your organization.