Lack of personal connection and the absence of human support is a struggle in most businesses today. Although companies can address this issue simply through understanding and better communication, many remain so singularly focused on profits, they are unaware of the insidious internal damage caused by poor morale.
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating how to keep your company healthy:
Does your company pay attention to its employees’ individual needs and opinions? Or does it take a cookie-cutter approach to its workers, expecting strict conformity without exception? Although it’s obvious that employment standards are necessary and healthy, some businesses overlook the fact that humans are not machines, and sometimes require special handling when adapting to changes at work or in their personal lives.
Does your business encourage group activities, team meetings for communication and morale-building, and other opportunities to connect with fellow employees? Fostering good relationships among employees is a huge contributing factor in companies’ successfully weathering the ups and downs inherent in business. Furthermore, research has shown that positive feedback and personal encouragement at work frequently outrank even pay rate when it comes to employees’ job satisfaction! Smart companies don’t skimp on the holiday celebrations, employee family picnics, and birthday recognitions. As in all human interactions, when we feel valued, we are generally motivated to return the favor by giving our best.
Do managers embrace an open-door policy, inviting employees to come to them for discussion and resolution of issues? Or are they unapproachable, with an attitude suggesting they’re superior, super controlling, or quick to resort to punitive measures? Here is where connection becomes absolutely critical for survival of a business “species.” Humans are social creatures, with an innate need for validation and acceptance by others. Companies would do well to encourage and understand, rather than criticize and condemn, fellow members of their species.
Is your treatment of coworkers based on reality, as opposed to mental gymnastics? Don’t make the mistake of guessing the feelings and motivations of your employees. Often, we avoid connecting because we’ve already painted an ugly picture of them based purely on our own fears, past negative experiences, and displaced resentments! This form of judgement is actually very similar to the delusional thinking of people overcome by despair related to a mental illness. If fed with more inner distortions instead of outside support and objectivity, our perspective grows darker and darker, leading to harm and possibly death, be it to an individual or corporation.
As a passionate spokeswoman regarding human connection, which directly bolsters the health of both individuals and companies, I challenge you to evaluate your own professional mental wellbeing. Consider how you think about—and therefore behave—toward others. Don’t make the mistake of minimizing the importance of relating to the people you work with authentically, respectfully, and compassionately. Because the truth is, the very life of your company depends on it.