12 Ways to Create a More Connected Workplace
If the goal is to become more connected with others at work, how does a company go about achieving it? Implement the following strategies – as time and budget considerations allow – to make the entire workplace more connected.
1. Take steps to get to know employees
Managers and Human Resources department personnel walk a fine line in the workplace. They are often seen as being on the side of the company, but also need to work very closely with employees to ensure they are providing employees with the support they need to succeed.
People working in these roles should make an effort to get to know employees working for the company in various capacities. It is the only way employees will be able to trust them with questions and concerns later.
2. Use integrations with collaboration suites
LumApps’ integrations give employees access to all the features available on collaborative suites like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. It helps all workers get the best possible use out of the company’s investment in these collaborative suites.
Employees can access shared calendars and folders, collaborate on documents or presentations, exchange in team groups or chats and much more.
LumApps’ intranet platform gives a company’s employees the capability to perform all of these functions from a single digital workplace.
3. Create peer mentorship programs
Peer mentorship programs can be used as part of a leadership development program. They can also be offered during the onboarding process when a new employee joins the company. In either case, mentorship programs send a message that knowledge and personal growth are in many ways dependent on social connections.
These programs are very popular among employers who want to offer their employees valuable perks but don’t necessarily have the budget for higher salaries. Instead, they can take steps to increase valuable human connections to provide valuable knowledge and contacts.
4. Set up communities of practice
Communities of practice exist to take advantage of the expertise within the company. They give employees and teams opportunities to share their knowledge, brainstorm, and collaborate across multiple locations.
Employees involved in communities of practice have opportunities to develop their current areas of expertise and grow their knowledge by solving problems with their colleagues. They also gain the advantage of feedback and support from experts.
Documents related to the communities of practice are stored in a library accessible to employees. The work performed by these key players benefits others later.
5. Ensure that all employees feel comfortable
The workplace should be a space where everyone feels safe and free from bullying and harassment. Some companies promote a “family like” atmosphere. This can be perceived as negative if the employee comes from a family environment where they do not feel safe.
Encourage employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Workers need to feel confident their concerns will be taken seriously. Have specific policies in place where complaints that run counter to company policy are investigated promptly and fairly.
6. Introduce an Employee Recognition Center
An intranet is not just for sharing work documents. It can also be used as an important vehicle to help employees stay connected. Use it to feature specific employees and teams, along with specific content that reflects the company’s campaigns or the time of year.
This strategy also allows different communities within the company to recognize their peers for excellent performance, which will enhance the company culture.
7. Keep information flowing throughout the company
Always ensure information is moving through the company. The information should be flowing from the top-down as well as bottom-up. Employees should be encouraged to ask questions and offer feedback to managers. However, in some cases it is appropriate for the information to flow from management .
8. Set up communities of interest
Allow employees to get to know each other and their interests outside of work. Employees with similar interests can join the relevant community of interest to discuss their interest with colleagues.
They can post images, videos, or links to interesting online content.
When some employees work from home or a satellite office, participating in a community of interest is a good way to get to know coworkers. Participants in communities of interest do not have to be experts in the topic being discussed. They just need to have an interest to establish a connection with their peers.
9. Host regular social events for employees
If the goal is to create a connected workplace that functions more like a community, then the relationships between employees must extend beyond traditional working hours. Schedule regular social events for employees. The type and themes of these events can vary, as long as they are meant to include people from different teams and departments.
It is a good idea to have at least one event where the company can celebrate individual employee and team contributions to its success. This would also be a good time to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond in giving back to the local community.
10. Establish an employee directory
Employee directories are usually thought of as a solution for large companies where employees may not know their coworkers very well.
This option works for organizations of any size, since it provides workers with the information they need and don’t waste unnecessary time searching.
Once an employee locates a fellow worker who can answer a question. or provide the information needed, the employee can reach out quickly to make contact. The person being contacted is a valuable link in the chain of knowledge and can share what they know as well as the name of another person who may be able to assist.
11. Encourage employees to try new processes
One of the worst reasons for hanging onto old policies and processes is because “
this is how we have always done things.” If something is no longer working, then it is time to try an alternative solution.
Many employees complain about meetings and how they are inefficient, and take far too much time out of the workday. If strategies like written agendas are not successful in cutting meeting time, then consider changing how they are conducted by enforcing the agenda and cutting pre-meeting discussions and introductions back.
12. Hire employees who will become passionate leaders
Find candidates who are coachable and who really care about the organization. They need to understand they have a key role in bringing teams together. Passionate leaders can (and should) have their own work styles. Some of them like to use videos to engage with their team members, while others prefer to use an internal blog. There is no “right way” to go about it, as long as they are engaging with their team and encouraging members to do the same.