Humans are built to interact, but loneliness is on the rise. Recent studies and news articles are calling it an epidemic.
Creating a culture which encourages connecting with and caring about others can be pivotal in combating loneliness, enhancing employee engagement, and supporting employee health and wellbeing. But the solution requires much more than just creating an open office environment, using the latest online chat portal, or connecting through an app.
As employers continue to increasingly discuss mental health and diversity and inclusion in the workplace, is there a place to weave meaningful social connection into our employee wellbeing strategy?
On March 27, WCWI is hosting its first Member Resource Group
and it’s focused on employee social connectedness. Additionally, we’re introducing The Net Effect wellness challenge
. WCWI Members can join together in implementing this four week challenge that injects a dose of fun in encouraging and inspiring individuals to expand their social network at work and in their community. Granted, we know that this isn’t the solution to foster relationships in your workplace. But it’s a fun way to take a step in the right direction, together.
Here’s the catch. We wanted to create an alternative way for WCWI Members throughout Wisconsin to quickly connect and share ideas. That requires a few of you to be brave for 60 seconds as an Idea-Sharer.
As an Idea-Sharer, you will have the opportunity to “use the floor” to share your idea, what-if thought, questions, or ways your organization is addressing social connectedness.
Here are a few examples of what an Idea-Sharer might say:
- What would it look like if we removed email access from 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM? As an organization, we could intentionally encourage employees to connect over lunch, play games, or step away from their desks…together. We could do this with friendly email reminders and invites, engaging leadership to be vocal and active in this initiative, sometimes provide lunch, invite everyone over the loud speaker, and more! (30 seconds)
- We’re establishing a grant program for employees to form their own Employee Resource Groups. These ERGs need to meet certain criteria: consist of at least # employees, has a mission statement with defined goals, meets monthly, includes senior leadership in at least one meeting, etc. Some examples include: Women Inclusion Network (WIN), Parents and Caregivers Together (PACT), Black Organizers Leaders and Doers (BOLD), United, Latinos in Tech (LIT), LGBTQ, Enneagram 2s, and many more!
- Loneliness may stem from “FOMO” (fear of missing out). What if our organization had a social media platform with the sole purpose of inviting employees to convene? Ways to convene daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly all with different environments and levels of “investment”.
You may start your 60 seconds with phrases like:
- At our organization we’re…
- What if…
- As I investigate this topic further, my ideas gravitate towards…
- Despite the research, I can’t help but think…
- Picture this…
- As a consultant, I’m seeing my clients…
- My question for the WCWI community is… After you ask your question, we’ll prompt all listeners to weigh in through the chat function within the call platform!