It is essential for a successful business to be well-connected, but are employees becoming over-connected? In this article, we will explore the importance of connectivity within the business and how to create more connection and relationships without becoming over-connected.
There are various benefits to connecting employees within a workplace. As well as transparency through and between departments, it creates a feeling of one big team working to achieve the same goal.
A connected workplace also helps create a sense of belonging, resulting in a more motivated and productive workforce who feel valued by the company. Communication can also be more effective if the workplace is connected, as messages can flow through teams, allowing for a more streamlined working process.
To keep your employees engaged, feeling valued and connected to the organisation, managers and leaders should make an effort to get to know their staff as much as possible. Little touches can go a long way in this situation; knowing their partners’ or children’s names, asking how they are or how they are getting on at school, for example.
Similarly, a small gesture on occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries can make employees feel appreciated and adds a personal touch. A day’s holiday or a personalised gift is all it takes to use these occasions to add value and boost the morale of your valued workforce.
Use 1:1 time with employees to focus on what they need and any concerns or issues they may have. Give them time to prepare for the meetings and bring to the table what they would like to discuss.
The meetings between a manager and an employee can be crucial to the person’s growth within the business. Use the opportunity to give and receive constructive criticism as to how you can all work better together and if there is anything extra you want to see from your employee or manager.
Regular catch-ups help engage and focus team members and are important for managers carrying out executive coaching as they strive to develop and further their workforce.
A key to staying connected is feeling part of the company no matter where you work from. With the increase in remote and home working, it is important for employees to feel just as connected as if they were in an office environment. In the office environment, offering a range of workplaces rather than just a standard desk area is good practice. Outbreak areas, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces allow connectivity with the rest of the business, as do open kitchens, which help communication flow throughout the business.
A flow of information within a business is extremely important. Two-way communication is important, as those at the top of the organisational structure should listen to feedback from those further down the chain. As we discussed earlier, involving employees in decisions and valuing their contributions helps engage employees and make them feel valued.
There are, of course, occasions where the communication will be required to come from the top down as an instruction, which is understandable, providing it is communicated well. Ultimately, there should be total transparency between colleagues and teams working with one another throughout the organisation.
While it is essential to have a connected workplace, it is also vital to strike a balance with this. It is important at times for members of staff to switch off and spend time alone if they require it, whether this is needed to complete a task or just to get some time away from a desk.
While remote workers should be very much connected, allow them time away from work, particularly as they may not have a separate location to class as an office. Encourage regular breaks and reminders to take annual leave, as too much work and too much connectivity with work can be a negative thing.
There are various ways to create a connected workplace without being “over-connected”. Ensure that communication is clear and constant, and within the organisation, you should strive to give employees a say and a voice.
Wherever your employees work, they must feel they are part of the business and can access everything. Regularly check in and hold company updates, including remote workers on video calls. Managers and leaders must value their employees, make them feel wanted and appreciated by the company, and ensure that all elements of the organisation are transparent and approachable. Avoiding work overload and ensuring a break and balance between work and home life is vital, as over-connectivity can occur.