The workplace is a place where everyone wants to thrive and know they are making a difference. I believe that people innately want to contribute and do their best. As leaders it behooves us to know what makes individuals tick to better help them thrive. It’s a win-win! One way this can manifest is through connection.
Connection is important in the workplace; without it people can feel like they just exist in a cold and sterile environment. Lack of connection leads people to feel unappreciated and even robotic.
Not having connectivity in the workplace can even threaten one’s sense of safety, a basic need as defined in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Things to consider about connection:
- It must feel genuine and sincere – there is no faking this. When it comes from a fake or forced place it comes through loud and clear. Any foundation for trust (if one even exists) becomes a slippery slope.
- Comfort levels of connection vary by individual. It is a leader’s responsibility to determine each individual’s level of comfort and abide by it.
- To create connection within teams, leaders ensure each individual feels recognized as a valuable contributing member. You may need to respond directly and honestly to address when they are not contributing. Difficulties arise if someone does not see their own contributions as valuable.
Why is connection important?
Connection is what makes people feel a part of something greater than themselves. Connection gives people a sense of belonging. People feel a sense of being needed, respected, appreciated and belonging. People want to know they are contributing and making a difference! Connection with their leader and teammates can help them feel that they are.
Going back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this pyramid describes how people become self-actualized. How they learn to live life to their highest potential. Love/belonging and esteem are psychological needs for human beings. Connection is at the core of these two categories. Connection helps build an individual to the highest level, which is self-actualization. In other words, environments with connectedness help people realize their fullest potential. This is a win-win for both individuals and organizations.