When you deliberately focus on creating an environment of connectedness amongst your team, employees feel a sense of bonding to the organization and to each other. Why is meaningful connectedness so important to your engagement efforts? Simply put, we all have a need to belong. It’s hard-wired in our brains. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. The employees in your facility are no different. They too are looking for ways to connect.
Good managers are consistently searching for ways to connect staff to their organization’s purpose and to each other. Consider the following two workplace scenarios:
1. Employees work together to do significant and meaningful work. Staff understands their contributions lead to a better quality of life for their residents. They team up to achieve the goals of their department and organization.
2. Staff work in isolated silos and feel alienated from the people around them. Their jobs feel like a set of daily tasks, disconnected from the larger organizational purpose. Employees feel lonely and often take an “every person for themselves” mentality.
Which environment is going to lead to engaged, loyal employees, and also better care and service to your residents? It’s clear to see why meaningful connectedness is so important to your engagement efforts.
How can you build trusting relationships and a feeling of connectedness in your organization? Here are four strategies:
1. Communicate team wins
Make it a priority to share how individuals, as well as the entire team, make a difference to the patients you serve. As a team, answer questions such as, “What can we accomplish together?” to help employees see how cohesiveness impacts the experience of residents and ultimately, the goals of your organization.
2. Encourage team bonding
Plan activities during staff meetings to help coworkers get to know each other on a personal level. Throw out a question such as, “What is your favorite outdoor activity?” or “What is your favorite thing to do with the family?” to encourage staff to find common interests and connections. When this happens, barriers come down and trust can take root.
3. Be open to social conversations
When employees talk about their personal lives during work time, some managers worry productivity goes out the window. But social conversations allow staff to get to know each other personally and open the door to trust. Certainly, teams need to stay productive, but appreciate that this type of casual conversation helps employees connect.
4. Walk the talk
Challenging day in the building? A good manager will roll up his or her sleeves and take an “all hands on deck” attitude. When your employees don’t feel left alone or isolated, you create a team of people who feel supported and proud to be a part of your organization.
Keep these strategies in mind as you build your culture of employee engagement. Your efforts will not be wasted, as your residents will also benefit from a more engaged team.
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