We’ve all heard the saying, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” and this rings true both inside and outside of the workplace. Aside from spending time with close family members and friends, your employees spend a huge amount of time interacting with coworkers or doing work tasks that involve team members — about 1/3 of their lives, to be exact.
The question is: how can you support your employees as they build healthier relationships in both their personal and professional lives?
Read on to discover why empowering employees to build and maintain healthy relationships benefits not only the individual, but your company as a whole.
Why Social Wellbeing Fosters Healthy Team Relationships
In the workplace, social wellbeing refers to the feeling of belonging within an organization. Workers who feel accepted, valued, and empowered are much more likely to go the extra mile for their team. The most important factor is establishing psychological safety, where employees are encouraged to provide their individual inputs without fear of repercussion. This creates an innovative environment that is nurtured by collaboration versus authority.
Ready to get started? Here is how to implement social wellbeing in your workplace:
1. Encourage Team Connections
Think about how much easier it is to communicate with someone when you already have a connection with them. There is a reason for this! Trust and loyalty are established by forming connections and diving beyond the surface level of the people around you. Gallup discovered that employees are 7 times more likely to be engaged if they have a friend on the team. Such personal connections help build deeper relationships, which in turn result in a much more collaborative work environment.
The natural conditions that coexist in healthy relationships are contingent on how familiar two people are with each other and how much they are willing to work towards developing that relationship. Likewise, the success of your workplace is directly correlated with the success of your employees. When a team communicates effectively, it is much easier for productivity to skyrocket. The workplace is also far more enjoyable when you share a strong bond with your team members, which is why personal connections are a win-win for everyone!
It’s safe to say that the majority of people cringe when they hear the words “team-building.” As a company, these events should be just as important as the workload itself. Keep in mind that your team is made up of people, not robots! If you want to encourage them to build healthier relationships, advocating for this needs to start internally. Spending time together and sharing experiences creates an organic and natural bond between employees. Consider team events as investments that will provide incredible and lasting results within your organization.
Although many companies have opted for remote environments, there are still plenty of opportunities to create a virtual team-building experience.
Dedicate an hour of Zoom time for a get-together outside of project-based activities. This allows your team to create trust and loyalty, establish deeper connections, and enjoy some laid back fun with coworkers.
Consider introducing virtual trivia or book clubs! These activities are bound to encourage your employees to initiate entertaining conversations and create virtual memories that go beyond work-related meetings.
Invest in your team! Wellness Coach is the perfect tool to establish team bonding within your organization while emphasizing the importance of mental, physical, and social wellbeing. Your team will instantly feel connected and experience a sense of community by engaging in these virtual practices.
2. Create a Sense of Safety and Belonging
No one wants to feel isolated, especially in a job that occupies a significant amount of time during the week. Creating an emotionally-safe work environment is crucial for a thriving organization. Your employees will experience a sense of reassurance when they know just how much they matter to the team. Additionally, healthier relationships naturally begin to form and coexist due to the increased awareness of psychological safety. Experiencing a sense of belonging in the workplace is a qualitative factor that is irreplaceable and incredibly valuable for continuous employee satisfaction.
Employee engagement also creates a feeling of belonging and correlates to quantifiable benefits, such as productivity, retention, and satisfaction. Companies who are committed to inclusivity and respect within the workplace will see healthier relationships as a result of increased awareness levels within their teams. The next time you host a meeting, make sure that you allow everyone to participate equally and ensure that they feel comfortable doing so.
Lastly, reserve time during team meetings for kudos, where team members can thank others on the team for their hard work. This practice helps every team member feel appreciated and valued.
3. Establish a Clear Source of Communication
Communication is the key to a healthy relationship in all scenarios, including the workplace! This is a highly critical skill that should not be undervalued. In fact, 76% of business leaders state that soft skills like communication are more in demand and crucial than job-specific skills. The ability to communicate creates a streamlined work environment where any ideas or concerns can be voiced freely.
Employees should understand how every individual on the team prefers to communicate and make an effort to apply those strategies on a daily basis. To do this, managers should simply ask each team member their preferred modes of communication and feedback, and confirm they’re comfortable sharing these with the team. Doing this will reduce misunderstandings, mitigate conflict, and continuously develop interpersonal relationships. As a result, your employees will repeatedly improve their communication skills on both personal and professional levels.
4. Advocate for a Strong Work-Life Balance
Imagine a balance that is created with a combination of work and life. Healthy relationships create this necessary balance in our lives, which is why advocating for overall employee wellbeing plays such a powerful role in the process. For many individuals, the balance between a job and personal life seems nearly impossible. However, Mental Health America states that balanced workers are happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with the company.
To create this balance, it is vital for employees to actively engage, communicate, and be efficient with their time at work. Studies show that employees take 26% of their work home with them, which likely creates tensions in their home life. Unplugging from the workday is crucial not only for personal wellbeing but also for building healthy relationships outside of the workplace.
Managers, when was the last time you encouraged your team members to take a day off? Oftentimes, employees need a bit of a push to step away from their work, and it’s your job to encourage it. During your 1:1 meetings, try pointing out how much PTO they’ve accrued and ask if they have upcoming plans to use it. Moreso, model the act of taking time off from work by doing it yourself, and communicating the value of it to your team.
Building Healthy Team Relationships is a Long-Term Investment
Developing authentic connections is a vital part of our personal and professional communication. By empowering your team with relationship-building skills, your employees will notice a powerful increase in quality of life — work-life and personal-life included. Keep in mind that relationships are not a one-and-done scenario. The key is to continuously find ways for employees to connect and continue creating meaningful experiences together.
It’s time to witness the positive effects that healthy relationships will provide for your workplace.
Book a private team session for your company or department to enjoy together! Choose from a variety of session topics, including mindfulness, fitness, leadership and more.