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  • Renee Giovenco

A Simple Thank you - Social Connectedness in the Workplace

By Renee Giovenco

Social connections create a sense of belonging, promote positive human behaviour and improves our social, emotional and physical well-being. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs includes a sense of belonging as one of the top 5 major needs that motivates humans and research shows that having social connections creates that feeling, making people happier, less stressed and physically healthier.

Creating positive work relationships not only makes work a more fun place to be, it also improves employee engagement and retention, increases productivity and performance and provides a safer workplace. Extending these relationships to your entire professional network is also important and developing and maintaining positive relationships with your key stakeholders, not only makes for smoother business transactions but is also important for a more successful career.

Building positive relationships in the workplace isn’t always easy, so it’s important for an employer to promote a positive environment that encourages, engages and motivates its employees. A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2012 showed 83% of executives and 84% of employees rank having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success. · There is a correlation between employees who say they are “happy at work” and feel “valued by [their] company” and those who say their organization has a clearly articulated and lived culture. Deloitte Survey

The foundation of any good relationship is of course trust, but there are a number of different elements that make for good relationships. We need to make time for people, listen and be interested in what they have to say and have an understanding of the different perspectives they may have. Show compassion, be encouraging and supportive. Celebrate individual and team success’. Express gratitude! Expressing gratitude creates positive feelings, promotes happiness and reduces stress. A simple thank you can mean so much.

What do we know? We know that positive work relationships and a positive work culture overall is the best thing for our health and well-being. This is not to say we all need to be besties, but having relationships that are supportive, respectful and trusting in the workplace is important, given the hours we spend with our colleagues.

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