Although returning to work after summer can feel like a roller coaster, it can bring a renewed sense of comradery and connection as you catch up with old colleagues, meet new ones and take time to connect and collaborate with your team. As the start of the school year becomes a distant memory, it’s the perfect time to get reacquainted with some strategies to keep that collegial connection alive and, in doing so, build a healthier workplace culture.
The 10-Foot Rule
As Jocelyn Plakas-Lock points out in her blog, a healthy workplace culture is a connected one, which is why it’s important to maintain genuine connections with colleagues, regardless of how busy we get. Jocelyn provides some simple tips—like saying hello to co-workers within 10 feet—that can make a big impact on your overall workplace culture and feelings of connectedness.
The Environment Connection
Not surprisingly, our work environment also plays a role in how connected we feel with our co-workers, especially if there are few spaces where staff can come together. In her blog, Dr. Candace Nykiforuk suggests creating a designated and welcoming space for staff to eat lunch together can help boost feelings of belonging and self-esteem by encouraging positive social connections.
The Art of Participation
Another important way to keep staff connected and engaged, especially when it comes to your wellness initiatives, is by consulting with your colleagues before you implement something new. Not only does this allow your team to feel heard, empowered and connected, it also improves staff buy-in and increases the chance for a successful outcome. Check out The Art of Participation for a variety of ideas for gathering feedback and improving staff participation.
So, as the school year rolls onward and workloads increase, don’t miss out on the benefits that genuine work connections can have for the entire workplace.