45 Percent of U.S. Employees Say Organizations Aren’t Investing in Fostering Employee Connection

Nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. workers say employers aren’t investing in employee connection, according to a new Eagle Hill Consulting national survey. The research comes as employers continue to struggle with managing employee connection and performance amid in-person, hybrid, and remote work environments.

The survey also finds that workers believe employee connection improves job performance. Employees say feeling connected to their work improves their ability to do their job (60 percent), day-to-day work quality (58 percent), desire to go above and beyond (55 percent), and ability to serve customers (47 percent).

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When it comes to the impact of connections on job satisfaction, 48 percent of workers say connection to their work impacts their decision to stay or leave their job.

“What we are seeing is that organizations are looking too narrowly at employee connection, defining it only in terms of employee relationships,” said Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Employee connection is so much more than hosting happy hours and social events. Instead, employers should take a bigger picture, strategic view. Employee connection is about fostering a workplace where employees feel connection not just to people, but also to their work, organization, and culture.”

“Today’s work environment is so complex — labor shortages in some industries, layoffs in others, and more demands for hybrid and at-home work. Given these challenges, organizations are wise to make meaningful investments in fostering employee connection to improve retention, increase job satisfaction, and boost organizational performance. And any employee connection strategies implemented should be grounded in what employees say they value: connection to work and organizational purpose,” Jezior said.

Five ways employers can improve employee connections are as follows:

  • Reimagine employee connection. Take an objective look at programs already in place that foster connection among people, across day-to-day work, and to the broader organization. Pinpoint what’s working, the gaps, and the impact of change
  • Ask employees what they need and listen. Check in with employees through surveys and focus groups to uncover areas for improvement and solutions.

  • Identify organic and inorganic opportunities to connect. Creating the space and opportunity for connection requires thought and some orchestration, particularly when employees are working remotely and are not in a shared physical space.

  • Create a sense of purpose with a strong vision for the future. Given the fast pace of societal change, it’s important to assess whether the current organizational vision is still relevant and reset it if necessary. Ultimately, this ensures employees feel more connected to their work.

  • Make the business case for investing in improving employee connection. When communicating the business value of connection, emphasize talent retention, quality outcomes, customer service improvements, improved employee morale, and greater collaboration and innovation.

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Eagle Hill ConsultingEmployee Connectionjob satisfactionTalent Retentionwork environment