The issue is causing mass resignations
One in three employees have reported feeling disconnected from their leadership teams, according to a new study, as interactions between employees and employers plunged amid the pandemic. The latest 2022 Global Culture Report from O.C. Tanner, which sought the responses of over 38,000 employees across 21 nations, revealed that 45% of workers said the number of people they interact with at work plunged over the past year, while 57% reported engaging in fewer activities.
"Without the opportunities or tools to meaningfully connect with each other, collaboration, wellbeing, and work performance suffer, and burnout increases," the research said.
According to the study, weaker team connections can make employees "feel misaligned on the purpose of their work" and can lead to suffering from mild to severe burnout. They are also three times more likely to leave the organisation within three years.
"Therefore, creating and maintaining strong connections among team members should be a priority for leaders to ensure the best possible employee experience, reduce the likelihood of fragmentation, and minimise risk to the organisation," the study reported.
In addition to lesser work interactions, one of three employees surveyed said they feel disconnected from their bosses - which can lead to a case of "social fragmentation" or the separation of people within a larger group based on purpose or goals. Those who develop strong connections with their managers said they are 11 times more likely to stay within the organisation for at least another year - and three times more to stay for more than three years. Meanwhile, employees who feel disconnected from their workplaces, culture, and purpose are more likely to experience burnout. Changes of producing great work is also reduced to 90%, while chances of leaving the company within six years increase by six times.
The study produced three recommendations to help companies resolve the gaps found in building connections internally.
- Expand and deepen team ties. Create more opportunities for employees to get to know each other personally by holding company-sponsored events, including cross-functional teams.
- Strengthen relationships between people and their leaders. This could be done by holding regular one-on-ones, giving recognition, and developing modern leadership skills.
- Connect people to the organisation. This could be achieved by celebrating company milestones together in order to attaching the organisation's purpose to their employees.
"Building strong connections with teams, leaders, and the organisation can empower employees and instil a sense of ownership in the company’s success," according to the research, adding: "When employees feel connected to all three, they are 11x more likely to stay at their organisation for another three years, and both employees and their organization are more likely to thrive."