Social connections are a driving factor in establishing a sense of belonging and workplace wellbeing.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, social connections and a sense of belonging fall in the third level on the hierarchy, just after physical and security needs.
Seligman’s PERMA model establishes that positive relationships are one of five core elements contributing to wellbeing.
When this need is adequately addressed in the workplace, it promotes trust, loyalty, a sense of connection, and healthy workplace culture.
How social connections tie into workplace wellbeing
A research study by Cigna found that about 3 in 5 Americans report being lonely, and lonely employees are twice as likely to miss work due to illness and 5x as likely to miss work because of stress.
Another study found that employees experienced greater feelings of wellbeing when they experienced work interactions that were trusting, collaborative, and positive, and they felt valued and respected.
Furthermore, Gallup found that having a best friend at work made employees seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, produce higher quality work, increase wellbeing, and be less likely to get injured at work.
How employers can foster stronger relationships in the workplace:
1. Schedule social activities inside and outside of work hours.
For example, you can schedule a group lunch or occasionally replace a weekly meeting with a team building or wellness activity within working hours. Outside of work hours, you can organize volunteer opportunities, happy hour, a bowling night, or other fun opportunities for employees to bond in an environment that isn’t work.
2. Find more things to celebrate.
Sure, holidays and birthdays might be standard, but have you considered celebrating work anniversaries or achieving a shared goal? Get creative with the things you can celebrate.
3. Wellness challenges.
Whether it’s a company triathlon or a month-long mindfulness challenge, get your teams working on a common goal to build a sense of camaraderie and healthy competition.
4. Effectively mediate conflict.
Occasionally, conflict inevitably arises between employees or between an employee and a customer. Work to ensure that conflicts are addressed swiftly and fairly.
5. Lead by example.
Leaders should demonstrate consistent patterns of behavior that model the desired culture and relationships they want to have in the workplace and be the first to promote an environment that is positive and inclusive.
The VitaliTeam Workplace Wellness programs offer organizations a customizable and holistic approach to workplace health and wellbeing.
With an approach that emphasizes the care of the mind and body, the importance of social connections, and building a healthy workplace culture, we empower your people to feel their best so they can contribute to a positive and healthy workplace and business.
Learn more about the VitaliTeam Workplace Wellness Programs below: https://www.dradeolamead.com/vitaliteam
Schedule a discovery call today to learn more about how we can help you promote overall organizational health and the individual wellbeing of each member of your team while boosting productivity and profitability.
Adeola Mead is a Naturopathic Physician with 15 years of clinical experience.
She is the Director of Vitaliteam Workplace Wellness, an agency that helps organizations implement wellness initiatives that improve mental and physical health while creating a culture of camaraderie in wellness.