What Is Employee Connection? (With Benefits and Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 19 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
The most successful businesses have employees who feel connected to the company and each other. Strong connections benefit employees and the businesses that employ them. Once employees feel connected, maintaining their bonds can help them grow. In this article, we define what employee connection is, list its benefits and offer tips for building and maintaining this connection.
What is employee connection?
Employee connection is a sense of belonging created in a workplace. Strong connection has three parts:
Connection to people: a feeling that peers, managers and senior leaders are on the same team
Connection to duties: a belief that tasks and responsibilities matter and help employees feel satisfied and grow
Connection to values: a belief that the company makes a positive difference and aligns with the attitudes of its employees
The most valuable employees often feel all three connections. These connections create a strong bond with the business. When all employees feel these connections, it creates a strong, positive workplace culture.
Benefits of connection among employees
Here are some benefits of connection for employees and the business:
Feeling connected to duties can drive employees to complete their tasks on time and to a high standard. Connection drives them to please the people who delegate tasks and help others who rely on their completion. Connected employees also feel motivated to work towards goals that align with their values. Motivation inspired by connection can drive employees to complete delegated tasks, volunteer for new projects and try to advance in their roles.
Motivated employees are typically productive employees. Connection encourages employees to focus on the business and their role in it. When they feel connected to what they do and why they do it, productivity comes naturally.
Feeling connected helps employees engage with their roles and other people in the business. Connection encourages people to involve themselves with teams and achieve the business' goals. They may be more likely to voice their opinions, share ideas and go beyond their job description to help the business and its people.
Connected employees interact better with one another. They understand they have a shared goal and appreciate working together to reach it. Their connection to others and the business encourages them to be reliable and productive members of the team. While they feel engaged enough to share opinions and ideas, their connection to others encourages them to hear alternative points of view.
Increases employee loyalty
When employees feel connected, they want to help the business and the other members of their team. They may view the people they work with like a family. The loyalty they feel reduces absenteeism and employee turnover.
Connection encourages employees to be the best versions of themselves by increasing motivation, productivity, engagement, teamwork and loyalty. When employees do their best, the business is more likely to exceed targets and achieve key performance indicators (KPIs). Reducing absenteeism and turnover helps businesses save money on recruitment, hiring and new employee training.
Tips for building employee connection
If you're a manager or executive, you may develop a strategy to build employee connection. Employees at all business levels can also be proactive and focus on building connections to business values, their tasks and other employees. Here are some tips for building connection:
Talk to other employees
Talking to other employees about a wide range of topics can help you feel more connected to one another. Try to talk to people outside your team or department to build your connections throughout the organisation. Take the opportunity to chat with other employees when you're taking the lift or waiting for public transport. Use your tea room or break room and strike up conversations there. If you feel a strong connection, invite them out to lunch or drinks after work so you can continue getting to know them.
Recognise other employees' contributions
Recognise the accomplishments and efforts of other employees in the organisation. You could praise them, write them a thank you note or email or give them a small gift to acknowledge their achievements or ongoing contributions. Recognising the efforts of other employees in the organisation can help you feel more connected to one another. Making an effort to appreciate others can highlight the way other people help you and the business. Employees also appreciate people who acknowledge them and see value in their contributions.
Set SMART goals
Setting SMART goals, that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based, motivates you to achieve. Once you have clear goals in mind, consider the ways your duties can help you achieve your goals. Understanding how your duties align with your goals can help you feel more connected to them. You may like to speak to your manager if your duties seem unconnected to your goals. They may adjust your duties or provide additional training so you can assume more responsibility. When they understand your goals, they can help you achieve them.
Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples
Connect with the business on social media
Social media gives businesses an opportunity to show a more human side. Following business social media accounts helps employees understand the business's values and how their efforts contribute to the company overall. If you're a senior leader, you could encourage employees to contribute to the business's social media accounts as part of your connection strategy. Some successful companies let employees take over their social media accounts on different days. Others post photographs their employees take. These initiatives help employees feel valued and more included by the business.
Take part in the business' community initiatives
Many businesses are active members of their communities. Some field sports teams. Others partner with charity organisations. Event sponsorship is another common way businesses give back to their communities. Participating in the activities the business cares about is a great way to connect with its values and learn more about what it stands for. For example, you could volunteer with a charity the business supports or play for the business's netball team. You could also suggest charities the business might support to strengthen your connection with its values.
Tips for maintaining connections
Once you build employee connections, these tips can help you maintain and grow it:
Schedule regular, relevant meetings
Just as talking can build connections, it can also maintain them. Schedule regular meetings with other employees to ensure your connections flourish. These could be professional meetings, for teams and managers, or social meetings, for peers. Keep your conversation relevant to the style of meeting and the business's objectives. Good professional meetings may involve giving and receiving feedback and working through any issues together. During social meetings, try to keep the conversation light and discuss shared interests outside the business. Ensuring each meeting has a clear, important purpose with only relevant people attending helps employees feel engaged and connected.
Use a variety of communication channels
Using the most appropriate communication channels for your interactions helps you maximise their impact and maintain your connections with people and your tasks. Workstream collaboration platforms suit discussion threads, brainstorming and sharing ideas and articles with a team. When you have a simple question or topic to discuss with a single person or small group, you may prefer instant messaging. In-person meetings and video conferencing suit more complex conversations, as they allow both people to communicate with their tone of voice and body language. You might use them for mentoring sessions or performance management reviews.
Celebrate milestones and achievements
Celebrations give businesses and their employees the opportunity to relax and enjoy social time together. Try to take time to celebrate notable business achievements and the milestones of employees, including their birthdays and marriages. A celebration may be a large catered event or as simple as sharing a cake at morning tea time. Celebrating together shows employees that the business recognises their professional contributions and their achievements outside their duties. Employees feel valued and more connected to the business as a result.
Listen to other people
Human connection involves a bond between two people. Listening to the people you feel connected to can help you keep your connection strong. If people ask for your help or suggest ways you could modify your behaviour, try to follow their requests. Talk through any issues as soon as they present themselves to maintain your connection. If you're in a position of power, an anonymous feedback box might encourage employees to communicate more honestly with you. Acknowledge feedback and the steps you're taking to address issues so employees know you care.
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