The Importance of
Hi my name is Dan Fennessy and I’m here to talk about why
social connections at a company really matters.
Belonging is a
Employees spend more time at
work, than with their families.
Belonging is a fundamental human need, after food and shelter. And many employees
spend more time at work, than with their own families. So they have less time
to fulfill social needs outside of work.
Therefore work is actually an ideal place to foster the positive
social connections that we NEED as humans.
Groups of people can achieve amazing things.
People are a companies’ strongest asset. In our knowledge-based economy,
companies compete on the quality of their people, above everything else.
But it’s not only individual talent that matters. It’s the strength of the network of people.
Social connections are key to creating that.
The problem is, it’s hard to get to that quality network of people.
When you’re fighting a losing battle on:
Employee Engagement & Employee Retention.
levels are at all-time lows.
Especially among young
Only 29% of millennials say
they are engaged at work.
55% are not engaged.
And 16% are actively
Retention rates are
The costs (both monetary
associated with high
employee churn are
immense (and could be the
topic of a whole other talk).
Given the fact people stay
such a short time - it’s
difficult to build that quality
network of people.
88% of Millennials want coworkers
to be their friends - MTV
Close work friendships boost
employee satisfaction by 50%
So people spend all this time at work, and they really want
(& need) social connection, some stats on that ^
Employees with a best friend at
work are 7x more likely to engage
fully in their work
Employees with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work.
Not twice as engaged, 7 times! Just by having a best friend at work.
The problem, is - many companies look like this ^
Departments working in silos, often different buildings, almost completely separate from each other. And with HR
trying to bridge the gap (from above).
Social connections, and friendships, just have little opportunity to develop.
Especially between departments.
Companies inherently know, that connecting people socially and bridging gaps is important,
that’s why they try things like this ^
Perks like ping-pong tables, free lunches (...and slides!).
And organize a big Christmas party. Or a once a year company retreat.
The problem is, these company events are usually organized top down.
And many employees don’t want to be there at all.
Honestly they are a bit forced.
Yet some companies spend millions on a once a year event event (that last a few hours)
in the hope that will connect people. ...What about the rest of the year?
1/3 Millennials: socializing helps
move up in career - LinkedIn
Employees know that social connections matter too! Those not in the social circle feel like they are
overlooked and left out.
These are Glassdoor reviews of some well known companies.
Now, I’m not suggesting you encourage more people in the company to take up smoking!
But something about that, IS in fact on the right track, which I will get to.
The Bottom line is - we need foster social connections at work,
in an organic and authentic way, year round.
(And in a more healthy way than smoking of course!)
How? Simple - via
employees’ interests and
No matter where people are
from, their backgrounds or
what department people
work in, you can be
guaranteed they share
interests, in: sport, music,
food & more.
These interests, and
associated activities, can be
the catalyst for fostering
organic social connections
in a company.
With encouragement from the company and HR - Employees can connect, in a stress-free
way, to forge these social connections, in and outside the workplace.
For lunch, dinners, sport, coffee and more
- Improve Onboarding
- Foster Inclusion
- Encourage Collaboration
- Uncover Innovation
- Build Trust
- Employee Happiness
- Engagement & Retention
Once people have
connected socially, over a
common interest or shared
activity, there are so many
You can improve
onboarding (truly integrate
new joiners and much
faster), foster inclusion,
and innovation, build trust,
All leading to improved
Employee Engagement and
Help bridge silos at
your company, through
And the great thing is -
if this is encouraged by
HR, it can be lead by
So there is no single
point of responsibility of
creating this at the
Come for the Work, Stay for the
Create Fun & A Little Weirdness.
- Zappos Core Value
By connection people socially through their interests you can create an environment where people
come for the work, and and stay for the people.
And finally, have some fun with it! Thankyou.
∞JoinMeaningful Social Connections
Founder & CEO