THE SURPRISING POWER OF SIMPLY ASKING COWORKERS HOW THEY’RE DOING
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During these uncertain times with many sudden changes in our daily lives, have you taken a step back and ask your coworkers or even yourself, "How are you today?". We humans have an innate need to belong — to one another, to our friends and families, and to our culture and country. The same is true when we’re at work. When people feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their fullest potential.
The Harvard Business Review launched the EY Belonging Barometer Study, which surveyed 1,000 employed adults.
What are the findings?
Majority of individuals look to their homes first (62%), before their workplaces (34%) when it comes to where they feel the greatest sense of belonging. While the workplace exceeds neighborhood communities (19%) and places of worship (17%), many individuals spend most of their time at work, and creating workplace communities where people feel like they belong is imperative.
This tells us that many people want more connection with those they work with. So how can companies connect more effectively with employees and help them feel like they belong within their workplace community? The results of our survey pointed to one simple solution: establish more opportunities for colleagues to check in with one another.
Here are a few tips to consider as you find the right way to check in with colleagues:
1. SEIZE THE SMALL OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT
Try to establish connections with your colleagues that communicate that you value, understand, and care about them. Be present, curious, and seize small daily opportunities to connect authentically. For example, a simple “How are you doing? How can I support you?” could go a long way in nearly every setting. It’s a great idea to also connect during breaks, in sporting activities, and other engagements out of office environment.
2. CHECK BIAS AT THE DOOR
© PR Council
Check-ins are a time to listen to another person’s perspectives, not to debate or persuade. If someone shares something that you don’t understand or agree with, you might consider acknowledging their point of view or asking them to tell you more. You may be pleasantly surprised by their response. For instance, “Tell me more about it,” or “I never thought about it from that perspective, but I do realize we can experience the same situation in different ways, so I appreciate you explaining that for me.”
3. IT’S OK TO BE VULNERABLE
© Voice and Viewpoint
Seek feedback from your colleagues, especially those who are junior to you. Demonstrate your trust in them through the way you communicate and act on their feedback. For example, expressing vulnerability by acknowledging their views and talking openly about challenges you’re facing humanizes the relationship you have with your peers and direct reports.
It cost nothing to give your coworkers and yourself a pat on the shoulder sometimes!
Recent EY Survey found that more than 40% of U.S. respondents reported feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. This group spanned generations, genders and ethnicities. People want more connection with those they work with. So how can companies connect more effectively with employees and help them feel like they belong within their workplace community?
© peeps HR
The survey points to one simple solution: establish more opportunities for colleagues to check in with one another. 39% of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally. By reaching out and acknowledging their employees on a personal level, companies and leaders can significantly enhance the employee experience by making their people feel valued and connected.
WRITTEN BY: KARYN TWARONITE
Karyn is EY’s Global Vice Chair - Diversity & Inclusiveness, responsible for maximising the diversity of EY professionals across the globe by enhancing EY’s inclusive culture. She is a member of the firm’s Global Practice Group management team and the Global Talent Executive Committee. She frequently consults with clients on diversity and inclusiveness matters.
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