Is HR doing enough to foster employee connections?

'Employee connection is so much more than hosting happy hours and social events'

Is HR doing enough to foster employee connections?

Employees don't think their employers are investing enough when it comes to colleague connection – which new research has found is critical to retention and productivity. Eagle Hill Consulting's survey of over 1,300 employees across the United States found that 45% don't think their employers are investing in initiatives to support comradery.

This perceived lack of investment and concern for employee connection is a "risk," according to the report, as it highlighted just how important it is for staff.

'Multi-faceted'

According to the report, employee connection is "multi-faceted." It’s more than just employees establishing relationships with their peers.

"Employee connection is about fostering a workplace where employees feel connection not just to people, but also to their work, organization, and culture," said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

Employees' connection to their work, in particular, has the "greatest impact" on overall job satisfaction. The report found that this has a positive impact on:

  • Ability to do the job (60%)
  • Day-to-day work quality (58%)
  • Desire to go above and beyond (55%)
  • Ability to serve customers (47%)

It also found that connection to their work is the biggest factor when it comes to their decision to stay with or leave their company (48%), as well as their professional and career development (47%).

Too narrow view

Employers may have fallen into a misconception in which they think employee connection only means relationships among colleagues - which the report said created a gap between what employers think and what employees truly are about.

"What we are seeing is that organizations are looking too narrowly at employee connection, defining it only in terms of employee relationships," Jezior said in a media release. "Employee connection is so much more than hosting happy hours and social events."

To reduce this gap, employers should take a "bigger picture, strategic view," according to Jezior.

"Organizations are wise to make meaningful investments in fostering employee connection to improve retention, increase job satisfaction, and boost organizational performance. And any employee connection strategies implemented should be grounded in what employees say they value: connection to work and organizational purpose."

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