The Art of the Check-In: 4 Ways to Stay Connected At Work

Art of the check-in, Staying connected workplace development
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    As humans, we want to feel like we are a part of a community. This feeling even extends to the workplace. According to research by the  Center for Talent Innovation, people are more productive, motivated, engaged, and 3.5 times more likely to put forth their full effort if they feel like they belong. 

    But how can companies put this information to use, and truly provide employees with a sense of belonging in the workplace? This post will guide you through the simple but effective ways you can build employee engagement and retention by checking in, be it with key stakeholders or coworkers. 

    Employee Satisfaction: How Do We Achieve It?

    The Isolation Issue: A new study by Cigna showed evidence that employees are feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. While many people spend most of their time at work, few regard the workplace as their main source of community. You can begin to fight isolation in workforce development by setting a standard and sticking to it. 

    Be consistent and accountable: To foster a true community in your workplace, stay transparent and consistently inclusive, regardless of social pressure or difficult events. If you expect, support, and reward the accountability of your coworkers, it will inspire them to continue their behavior.  

    For example, when a challenge arises at the office, beginning a dialogue with team members instead of shying away from the topic. If you exhibit inclusive behavior in your interactions, you will set a great example for your team. 

    Workforce Development: It’s Personal 

    Make It Count: Some things don’t add to our sense of community. For example, impersonal conversations with key stakeholders, an invitation to a big presentation by senior leaders, or being copied in an email chain, aren’t as meaningful for employees when it comes to feeling like they are part of a community. Move past the digital distraction and get to the heart of the matter. 

    Look For Little Ways To Connect: Your coworkers will feel like they belong if you try to communicate that you value, understand, and care about them. Stay present, and show genuine interest in the lives of those around you. 

    You have many daily opportunities to connect with your coworkers on an authentic level. For example, simply asking “How are you doing?” or “Is there a way I can support you?” will help your team feel like they are seen, heard, and cared for. 

    Take Time To Listen: Check-ins shouldn’t be focused on you, but rather, focused on the person you are connecting with. If you don’t understand or agree with something your coworkers are saying, make sure to acknowledge their perspective and ask them to elaborate on their point of view. 

    For instance, saying things like  “Can you tell me more about that?” or “I never thought about it from that perspective, I appreciate you explaining that for me.”, will convey that you are committed to empathetic professional development and that you care about whomever you are speaking with. 

    Paving Educational Pathways With The Heart

    Look For The Best: When you are conversing with your colleagues, try to assume that those talking or listening are well-intentioned, even if you are talking about difficult topics. Awkward pauses and uncomfortable moments are a part of life. If you believe that your colleagues have a positive intent, you will help foster an environment of diversity and inclusion while keeping a level head. 

    If you feel yourself getting frustrated, ask specific, clarifying questions. Sometimes, uncomfortable pauses are an opportunity for connection. Don’t be afraid to say “I am only pausing because I have to think a little more about this” or “I am pausing because I don’t have much experience with this topic.”

    Don’t Resist Vulnerability: Stay curious about all of your colleagues, not just the key stakeholders. Convey your trust and respect for your junior coworkers by taking their feedback and perspectives into consideration. 

    For example, feel free to express vulnerability. Acknowledge the challenges you are facing and the ways you want to better yourself. Being open will ultimately strengthen your relationship with your peers, as it shows you are comfortable in your skin and ok being imperfect. 

    A Learning Experience With WeLearn’s Learning Development Blog

    While these five tips will surely help you overcome your workforce development challenges, remember that the learning experience is a continuous one. Stay committed to your team. Express your gratitude for a job well done. See that essential stakeholders and employees are just people in the end. 

    Checking in will result in a higher level of employee engagement, employee retention, and employee satisfaction. Luckily, we all have the power to make a difference, even by starting small. 

    What helps you feel like you belong at work? Have you checked in with your team recently, and if so, how did it go? Share your story with us here at WeLearn’s development blog, because together we grow, and together we learn.

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