How to build meaningful connections in a hybrid workplace

'They won't automatically happen just because people are in the same physical or virtual space'

How to build meaningful connections in a hybrid workplace

Leaders must take ownership of facilitating meaningful connections in a hybrid workplace, said Meghan Stettler, Director at O.C. Tanner Institute. She added that building connections in our virtual world of work will require going “beyond a surface-level view” of things. “They won’t automatically happen just because people are in the same physical or virtual space,” said Stettler, who will be discussing the topic with leaders from Accor, Klook and Razer Inc in an upcoming webinar.

Stettler shared that workplace connection is made up of factors like a sense of belonging and inclusion, as well as shared experiences that can energise, strengthen and unite the workforce. “To maximise those feelings, leaders must be intentional about connecting their people to the three things that matter most: purpose, accomplishment, and one another,” she said.

April Wan, VP, Global Head of HR at Razer Inc shared a similar sentiment – leaders must walk the talk. To successfully engage employees, leaders should also embark on a mindset change on how to manage the employee experience. “Being an outcome-driven organization, it is very common to see our leaders focus on driving numbers that they may neglect keeping their teams engaged during this pandemic era where physical interactions are non-existent,” said Wan. “It requires a mindset change amongst our leaders to make deliberate attempts to connect and communicate with the team.”

Fellow panellist Cary Shek, Vice President, People & Culture at Klook added that it’s key that leaders don’t tackle employee and business needs as separate. “The needs of both employees and the business have become more diverse and complex,” Shek said. “They are closely linked to each other, one affects the other in more ways than one. As leaders, invest in understanding employee sentiment, and work towards a purpose-driven strategy that will help connect both employee needs and business goals.”

To help enable a strong sense of purpose and connection with the organisation, Stettler suggested the following for leaders:

  • Showcase how someone’s work directly contributes to the purpose of the organization. Everyone wants to know how they’re making a difference in the world through the work they do each day.
  • Let your people know what success looks like and celebrate their everyday victories. This will build confidence, affirm their potential in the organization, and increase retention.
  • In a hybrid environment, maximize interaction in the physical office space with brainstorming, networking, and career development. If fully remote, plan various opportunities to celebrate and connect broadly and individually through townhalls, one-to-ones and informal check-ins.

Click here to join fellow leaders in the discussion at the exclusive webinar.

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