How you show up to work each day and interact with your colleagues and clients can have an impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The interactions you're experiencing with your colleagues and clients can also impact you, physically and mentally.
A poor quality connection is a risk for the two individuals experiencing the interaction. The outcomes can also negatively affect the business. A poor quality connection is one that can leave one or both individuals in the interaction, feeling deflated, frustrated, confused or upset. Poor quality connections can result in worry, stress and insecurity. These feelings can interfere with an individual's focus, performance, and interactions with others in the workplace.
For a business, poor quality connections can effect productivity, cause conflict and more seriously result in absenteeism, stress claims and can lead to more significant behavioural issues in the workplace.
Workplaces should aim to foster high quality connections amongst their people. A high quality connection is a short term interaction between two people that has a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the two individuals interacting with one another. A workplace that influences high quality connections is characterised by:
People who are courteous, and respect one another
Interactions and relationships are built on trust
There is a sense of community and support
People feel part of team and can identify and relate to the shared purpose
Team work is high in collaboration and low in competition amongst team members
A high quality connection is determined by a number of factors. It isn't enough to tell people that they need to be kind to one another, respect and support each other in the workplace. For a high quality connection to occur, it requires the effort of both individuals, therefore It Takes Two to Tango!
Managers and individual workers need to understand what a high quality connection is, how to create, encourage and influence them. Each person in the workplace is responsible for their effort in the interaction, and should be aware of the negative and positive impacts this can have on others.
Recent studies in Australia workplaces show that many workplaces are not investing in Connectedness in the workplace. A 2018 study identifying Connectedness as 1 of 5 indicators of a thriving workplace, highlights that people are not feeling those necessary connections in the workplace as strongly as they should and could be. SuperFriend. Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Survey. Melbourne: SuperFriend; 2018.
Want to know more about influencing positive behaviour and people connections in the workplace?