“Company culture” is not just a fluffy buzzword. Company culture is more than the zany perks such as an all-you-can-eat snack bar, dress-down Fridays or ping pong tables. Supporting your co-workers in the workplace, giving valuable and constructive feedback, and asking a simple “How are you really doing?” — that’s culture too.
In Cigna’s Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report, 41% of men and 29% of women feel lonely at work. Loneliness isn’t good for business because that’s where we leave our best selves.
One of the biggest and most worrisome findings was people consistently report feeling disconnected and disengaged as well as producing lower quality work.
What if we could bring our best selves to work? There’s one thing that employers can do: build a connected culture in the workplace. Everyone loves working in a company where they feel connected — with the company, the co-workers, and the work they do. Read on to find out how you can cultivate a connected culture in the workplace.
Lead by example
A connected culture isn’t just what you do, it’s who you are. As a leader or a manager, your personal values and choices have a ripple effect on the team.
So, if you’re taking small steps each day, whether at the personal or professional level, that prioritise your team members, they will begin to follow your lead. Demonstrating the key principles of a connected culture — work-life balance, workplace camaraderie — gives your team members a sense of direction of your leadership.
"Address the personal, not just the business."
Empower your team members
We work better when we know we are supported. We communicate effectively when we know our voices are heard. And, we enjoy what we do a lot more.
Take the time to really get to know your team members — who they are, what they love. A connected culture can go a long way in taking one’s passion and giving it purpose, ultimately leading to a higher sense of personal satisfaction. Empowerment — the sense of belonging and being accepted — makes people happier, confident and more productive.
Empowered people, empower people
Touch base often
It’s hard to know what’s going on with your team when you can’t meet face-to-face in the same room. Given that remote working does not have the benefits of the community that working from the office provides, remote teams require an extra personal touch. Schedule regular one-on-one chats and ensure that you are hearing from everyone.
Show your employees you care by sending them a quick “How are you doing?” to check in. Switching to video is great and starting your chats with non-work talk can help strengthen the relationship.
We spend more than half our waking hours at the workplace — having an interpersonal problem at work or a personal situation that intersects with your job is inevitable. But, many workers get squeamish to talk openly about these problems.
Address the personal, not just the business. Leading a remote team means being conscious of the personal circumstances of your employees and understanding the life issues that arise. Think about the other person’s circumstances and always assume the best in your team members’ actions. You will consequently earn their connection.
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