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November 28, 2023

HR Leaders Build Connection in the Workplace

HR Leaders Build Connection in the Modern Workplace

Despite WFH flexibility and ‘back to office’ efforts, employee’s expectations are rising while their morale is falling. Regardless of a WFH Hybrid or In-person setup, the most crucial aspect for HR leaders regarding employee health, stress, and productivity is engagement. Employee engagement is 3.8 times more predictive of stress than working location, according to Gallup’s State of the Workforce Report. Teams that enjoy a level of connectedness can weather stressful phases better than disjointed ones. In the most connected teams, the members operate in a familial relationship with one another. Their team relationships serve as a safety and support system that helps employees to:   

  • Try new things and innovate
  • Recover from mistakes with new knowledge intact
  • Run toward, not away from, accountability
  • Celebrate successes
  • Voice group and individual concerns
  • Share common values and goals
  • Bring their “real” selves to work, contributing to the group using their unique personality and self-expression

It’s easy to see how having a dependable work family (the gold standard of engagement) can enrich work experience, promote worker wellness, and strengthen a team’s productivity. 

Stress Management Outlets

The changing nature of how companies do work can make building familial teams difficult. Employees mostly prefer to work remotely on some level. Forbes reports 65% of surveyed employees want to work totally remotely and 32% prefer a hybrid schedule, with on and off-site work combined. The same report revealed that 71% of workers credit remote work for helping them maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

It’s true that companies using remote and hybrid models can offer teams the flexibility and freedom they want. On the other hand, remote work can make it easier for workers to lose connection to the team, which can weaken their ability to overcome and dissolve stressors and sink morale.

HR Leaders to the Rescue

HR plays a central role in protecting the integrity of team relationships as more work gets done apart from one another. Managers of teams can help by using managerial techniques that promote team engagement. But they’re main focus stays locked on measurable corporate expectations. HR departments are uniquely positioned to tackle the issue of employee disconnection because their goals directly line up with engagement objectives. HR departments aim to increase retention, raise job satisfaction, and attract a diverse array of qualified talent. All these directly contribute to keeping a high-performance organization. 

How HR Drives the Growth of Employee Connection

HR leaders have the resources and expertise to balance workers’ increasing expectations for flexible work options with putting critical attention to employee engagement. Higher levels of employee engagement raise employee morale, including reduced productivity and increased stress.

Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Team Vitality

  • Promote Communication and Feedback Affirmation: HR can deploy coaching support for individuals at all role levels that encourages them to open up with their team and leaders.  Simply stating the goal of transparent communication doesn’t lead to real dialogue. Often workers need guidance in this area. The fear of potential pushback, lack of communication skills, and a lower value being placed on communication can trip up employees. A personal coach can help workers develop healthy communication habits that build bridges between them. Often just speaking with a coach as a trusted sounding board helps employees feel heard and valued. Imagine if everyone in the company felt this way toward their co-workers as well. 
  • Increase Motivation and Morale: HR can install methods for managers and team members to recognize one another’s contributions. HR can create public opportunities like “Brag Reports” that are shared in company newsletters and meetings. They can schedule special perks like time off, paid lunches, or concert tickets to thank employees who went above and beyond expectations in a set timeframe. These things help employees feel others notice and appreciate their work. Managers can more readily use HR to create the resources to make sure they’re giving their team enough recognition, even though they’re busy pushing toward team goals.
  • Building a Culture of Trust: Trust forms the foundation of employee engagement, yet too many teams lack its presence. HR can set about encouraging and rewarding high-trust practices. But more than that, they can bring in training around productive conflict. Members of teams can learn from experts how to fail forward, provide feedback, and commit to solutions, even when the solution goes a different direction than they might have wanted. HR can utilize TaskHuman’s coaching platform to provide group training and individualized coaching that includes every employee, wherever they happen to be working. Managers can benefit from coaching that focuses on their trust-building behaviors which enhance their team’s trust culture.
  • Provide Career Development and Growth: HR teams can offer opportunities for employees to advance into higher roles and make professional development programs accessible. HR teams can proactively reach out to employees encouraging members to participate in growth programs. They can pay attention to diversity on teams and reach diverse individuals with opportunities that cater to their unique needs and challenges. Mentorship programs and sponsorship initiatives can especially assist diverse groups. Every employee can benefit from proactive invitations and guidance toward a growth plan that keeps them engaged. 
  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Flexible work arrangements matter greatly to employees in today’s workplace. HR teams can draft policies that support work-life balance and employee well-being. They can encourage employees to use TaskHuman’s coaching platform to find personal coaches with the skills and experience that speak to individuals in the pain points or passions they have.

Don’t Do It Alone.

Engagement is the key to securing a company’s longevity and vitality. HR is dedicated to creating positive employee engagement outcomes that include improved well-being, retention, and strong incoming talent streams. HR departments of any size can take proactive steps to foster connection and morale. Using TaskHuman’s mobile coaching platform can leverage HR personnel and help them to create environments where employees feel valued, engaged, and fulfilled, whether they work from home, on-site, or a little of both.

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