Build Connection in the Workplace: 7 Easy Tips to Succeed

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We all know that connection in the workplace leads to positive outcomes for both employees and employers: better communication, higher morale, greater collaboration. But how do we get those powerful staff relationships?

It can often be difficult for directors and executives to engage authentically with their teams, but creating meaningful connections is essential in strengthening morale, engagement levels, productivity, innovation—and your bottom line. Let’s take a look at what makes people feel connected so you can start building meaningful relationships right away!

What is Connection in the Workplace?

Compass, Insight Global’s Culture & Leadership Division, defines connection in the workplace as the level of open and trusting relationships and shared commitment to achieving results in pursuit of a defined purpose.

Let’s break this down further.

  • Connection to each other: Do team members have open and trusting relationships?
  • Connection to purpose: Why does the group exist? Is there a shared commitment to support this purpose?
  • Connection to results: How will you know if the group is on track with supporting the purpose? Is there a shared commitment to the results that will define success?

By connecting all of these pieces (pun intended), you create connection in the workplace.

Connection in the workplace is a sense of feeling valued and appreciated by your colleagues. It’s that feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself—a team, a mission, or just the daily work routine. It’s a sense of security and trust that allows people to feel safe in expressing their ideas and working together.

Related: Let’s Talk About Connection

What are the Benefits of a Connected Workplace?

A connected workplace has many benefits for both employers and employees. When Compass offers training on workplace culture, we talk about why connection matters. Here is some of what we share:

  • Makes work more meaningful and creates energy toward your purpose
  • Puts the diverse strengths, experience, and perspective of the team online to supercharge results
  • Creates open, honest, and transparent conversation so you can solve hard problems
  • Establishes trust through sharing vulnerability
  • Improves the quality and quantity of communication

On the other hand, disconnection can lead to increased turnover, lower productivity, absenteeism, and lower quality work.

How to Build Connection in the Workplace

You cannot create a connected workplace overnight. Building connection between employees and co-workers takes time and commitment. Here are some ideas to get started!

Start with Company Values

At its core, connection in the workplace is about establishing and living out shared values. These values should be woven into all aspects of your business—from recruitment to performance reviews and everything in between.

Ideally, your company already has a mission statement, a vision statement, and shared values, all of which guide everything your business does. The next step is to make employees aware of your company’s mission, vision, and values so they can feel connected to something greater than themselves.

If you’re a people leader, you can encourage your team members to relate their performance goals to the company values.

Lead By Example

Leaders set the tone for their teams and play a key role in fostering a connected workplace. It’s important to be open and honest with your team and have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

When you lead by example, you create an environment that encourages people to communicate, share ideas, and be accountable for their actions. You also set the expectation that everyone should treat each other with respect and follow the company values.

Be Intentional with Your Work Relationships

Find time to talk to your employees one-on-one. Ask them how they’re doing, and pay attention to their answers. Listen not just to what they say, but how they say it. Read their body language. At first, they might not feel comfortable being transparent. Don’t push them. Just continue to build your relationship.

Start team meetings the same way. Ask everyone how they’re doing. Give everyone a chance to respond honestly. If no one speaks up, remember to lead by example by answering yourself.

Look for small ways to connect with colleagues and direct reports every day. A genuine smile and greeting can go a long way to building connection.

Encourage Collaboration

Provide opportunities for collaboration. Set up brainstorming sessions–all ideas are valid. Assign multiple people to a project. Host a hackathon. If you can redesign the office, create collaborative workspaces with tools like whiteboards, markers, pens or pencils, note paper, and more.

When you’re running a meeting, give everyone a chance to contribute. Let them know you value their input.

Make It Easy to Celebrate

Make it easy to celebrate each other’s successes. Celebrate team wins with a virtual happy hour or lunch. Recognize individual achievements in team meetings or on Slack. Even when budgets are tight, authentic praise goes a long way.

Steve Wasik, VP of Culture Strategy at Compass, shares three tips for giving your team effective praise.

These kinds of celebrations can help create a sense of connection and shared purpose amongst your team members.

Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Prioritize work-life balance. Your team should be encouraged to find ways to relax at work and unplug when needed. Let your team know that it’s okay to take a day off when they need one. Encourage employees to focus on their physical and mental health. Create policies around flexible scheduling.

Be Consistent

Remember, building connection in the workplace takes time. Don’t feel discouraged if your employees respond slowly to any company-wide initiatives. Keep engaging with employees at all levels of the organization. Show your commitment to creating connection and over time, it will come naturally to everyone.

“The most meaningful role of leaders is to create meaningful connection to

their people, their purpose, and their results.” -Compass

Discover More Tips to Develop Connection

If you’re a leader looking to build a connected workplace, Compass can help. Sign up for our free webinar: How to Build a Thriving Team Culture and Improve Results. Not only will you learn more about the importance of connection in the workplace, but you’ll also discover actionable tips to connect with your employees and colleagues.

How to Build a Thriving Team Culture and Improve Results