Idea at a glance
Did you read our blog that outlined the loneliness epidemic? If not, click here to read it. Here are some top tips on how to increase social connections, friendships and collaboration within your organisation, all of which help to mitigate the loneliness epidemic.
1. Encourage Social Connections
Encouraging connections can help employees build relationships with their colleagues and create a sense of community within the workplace. This can include team-building activities, social events, and providing opportunities for employees to collaborate on projects. One great way to target younger people within the organisation is to create a mentorship program. Pairing more experienced colleagues with newer, younger members of staff, creates a sense of community and can also provide employees with someone to turn to when they need advice or guidance. Mentorship programs help build new relationships and improve retention rates.
2. Create a Supportive Work Environment
A supportive work environment is crucial and helps employees feel valued and appreciated, contributing to their overall well-being. This can include things like providing flexible working arrangements, offering employee assistance and creating a culture of open communication. Employee Assistance Programs are a great way to do this, and by offering confidential counselling services designed to help individuals manage personal or work-related issues, overall well-being can be improved. A great way to address loneliness is sharing about oneself in a vulnerable way, so this would accomplish that. Flexible work arrangements can also aid work-life balance, potentially alleviating feelings of loneliness.
3. Provide Opportunities for Learning and Development
Learning and development are great ways to help employees feel more engaged and invested in their work. Moreover, in-person traditional classroom training and collaborative tasks can increase an individual’s social connections for that day. For example, at Masters in Minds, we use a Lego production line game to demonstrate the importance of Lean Six Sigma and show people how to go through the method of process improvement. As with any production line, it’s essential for people to work as a team, communicate and collaborate. This can temporarily ease loneliness and gives people the opportunity to form meaningful friendships and connections with their colleagues.
4. Social Activities
In our post-pandemic world, the number of social activities and interactions has massively reduced. In 2022, people were still spending more time at home and less in the office, according to Google’s community mobility reports. Whilst work-from-home, flextime, and hybrid are all valid working styles, they do limit human connection. It may be worth increasing the volume of such social events to make up for teams seeing one another less in the office. Social clubs or groups where people with shared hobbies meet up is a good option, alongside volunteer programs which can also bolster the organisation’s ESG.
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