When we hear or refer to “lost connection”, it’s usually in regards to our cell phone coverage or internet connection. Similar to those instances, leaders may also experience a loss in employee connection as well. In the workplace, a lost connection equates to the lack of engagement. According to the National Business Research Institute, 54% of U.S. employees are not engaged in their work and have “checked out”. What does this mean? If your employees are in this state, they’ve lost the desire to put forth their best effort, they aren’t motivated to apply or offer creative ideas/solutions to the team or organization and essentially, they’re only doing the bare minimum just to get by. It’s dangerous for employees to be in this state but not solely for their sake, it’s also dangerous for the organization. This article will help you be more intentional with increasing employee connection.

What causes connection loss with your employees?
There are many variables that may cause connection loss, but here are a few common ones:

1.       Not being heard

2.       Feeling ignored

3.       Feeling unappreciated or undervalued

4.       An environment where feedback isn’t requested, welcomed or considered

5.       Lack of development or succession planning

 

Employee Connection Tips

Here are 6 purposeful ways to help you reconnect with your employees:

Engage:                               Employee engagement is employee connection. Understand what motivates your staff individually and what concerns them also. It’s not enough for employees to just do a task, they should “want” to do it. However, it is up to leaders to influence this level of engagement with their staff. Leaders must make it a priority to know the concerns, passions, and motivators of each employee to effectively engage them.

Be Intentional:                  Sometimes it isn’t second nature for a leader to treat employee engagement as a priority. It is okay (and recommended) to intentionally set reminders and make notes to follow-up with your staff as you would with any other initiatives that you want to stay on top of. The coach.me Habit Tracker is a great app to help you create productive habits if you’re still learning how to apply engagement practices. This app is a great tool to become more consistent and motivated while striving to increase employee connection.

Communicate:                  Take the time to ensure that you’re communicating with your employees regularly. Also ensure that you’re clearly communicating the goals of the department/team, as well as the vision of the organization. Don’t delay or postpone communication to wait for the perfect time. Perfection isn’t needed for effective communication and neither is a formal meeting.

Collaborate:                      Seek ideas and insight from employees. Each employee has unique skill sets and experiences that can be used as great resources for your team and organization. Collaboration allows you and your staff to utilize each other’s expertise to reach a common goal. It’s important for employees to be heard and to also feel welcomed to share their input.

Acknowledge:
                   Never forget to acknowledge your employees for the effort they contribute to the organization. Whether it’s a formal recognition program or a simple thank you note, don’t miss the opportunity to show that you appreciate their hard work. In addition, keep in mind that you don’t have to wait until a particular time during the year to acknowledge your staff. While some leaders wait until annual performance reviews or reward ceremonies to acknowledge others, this can actually cause more damage because it may appear to be inauthentic. Be present and acknowledge your staff for their wins, their contributions, and their dedication whenever the opportunity is at hand.

Develop                             Be clear on where your employees would like to go in their career and help develop their skills to get there.  Offer the opportunity for professional development initiatives. Here are a few examples:

  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • Challenging projects (short term or long term)
  • Continuing education

Offering development initiatives shows investment and commitment to employees from their leaders and ultimately, the organization. This, in turn, helps employees feel committed to their work and connected to the vision, which is an effective way to reconnect with employees.