Creating Strong Connections with Your Coworkers
June 14, 2021
Imagine you’re working from home for the day. You sit down in your chair, open your laptop and read through your emails before getting started on your to-do list. Suddenly, it’s lunchtime and hours have passed without you connecting with another human being.
Now, imagine that day gets repeated again and again.
For many people, that scenario isn’t difficult to envision. While working from home certainly has its benefits, one of its most challenging aspects is the lack of human interaction. A survey from Buffer reported that loneliness is the second biggest struggle remote employees face – right after unplugging from work!
You don’t have to have a Social preference in Emergenetics® to understand the importance of connection. Employees who have supportive coworker relationships report a significantly more positive employee experience than those who don’t.
Whether you and your colleagues are working at home, in the office or a combination of the two, building an encouraging environment where you create positive relationships with one another is essential to your employee experience.
Support means different things to different people, though. As you create a connected workplace, take time to consider what actions and interactions would be most meaningful to your coworkers.
What Does Support Mean to the Seven Emergenetics Attributes?
If you and your colleagues have Emergenetics Profiles, find each other and connect on the Emergenetics+ mobile app to become familiar with your preferences. If you don’t have Profiles, consider which of the Attributes below sound most like your coworkers (and then call us to get Profiles!).
Employees with an Analytical preference often appreciate direct and honest interactions. To be a supportive coworker, be transparent and get to the bottom line. Focus on the facts, give them space to ask questions and invite them to share their expertise.
For the Structural Attribute, dependability demonstrates care. Make sure you follow through on commitments as well as hold yourself and others accountable to what you have agreed upon. Also, try to share information in advance to avoid taking team members by surprise.
Individuals with a Social preference tend to feel more connected to colleagues when they get to know them personally. To build rapport, take time to learn about their lives outside of work and ask about their interests.
The Conceptual Attribute often enjoys ideating and imagining new possibilities. To help colleagues with this preference feel connected, create space to brainstorm and listen without judgment. Also, be sure to allow for some tangents and fun.
You can demonstrate support by offering time for internal reflection for your teammates who are in the first-third of Expressiveness and by serving as a sounding board for those coworkers who are in the third-third of Expressiveness.
Depending on their Assertiveness preferences, some team members may prefer to find agreement while others may enjoy debate. For those in the first-third, make time to build consensus and understanding. For those in the third-third, be open to engaging in constructive discussion, recognizing that the deliberation is fun for this Attribute and not personal!
Through the lens of Flexibility, support comes from the way coworkers address change. Those in the first-third often appreciate colleagues who commit to decisions and clearly explain the “why” of any changes. Those in the third-third like to keep their options open and may feel encouraged when teammates can change course as they work on projects.
How Can You Build Stronger Working Relationships?
Now that you have a better understanding of what actions and behaviors will establish an environment of support, try incorporating these eight ideas to inspire connection with your colleagues:
- Use messaging apps to keep employees connected on work- and non-work-related topics.
- Create a virtual coworking space on Zoom to allow staff to sign in and work together throughout the day.
- Host regular team meetings and periodic team building events.
- Engage in some friendly competitions – like a step challenge or a virtual escape room.
- Attend training programs with colleagues.
- Set consistent one-on-one meetings between managers and staff.
- Create an employee recognition system – or just make it a habit – to celebrate one another.
- Schedule coffee chats with coworkers for fun and for work check-ins.
Curbing isolation by building supportive relationships with your colleagues can have a powerful impact on each employee as well as the overall success of your organization. By taking steps to proactively connect while being mindful about the ways you interact with teammates, you can set the stage for a more engaging workplace experience – no matter where your workplace is located!
Source: Emergenetics International