Have you heard the term “social health”? It encompasses the types of interactions people need to thrive socially. Regardless of how introverted or extroverted a person is, each of us needs some form of positive social interaction with other people. At the workplace, these interactions occur through communications, actions, and behaviors toward and with coworkers and others.
Social conditions can play an enormous role in both mental and physical well-being. People need positive interactions with others and a sense of connection and belonging. It’s one of the many benefits beyond a paycheck that most of us derive from the workplace. A lack of positive social interactions can have a serious detrimental effect on overall well-being.
That said, with the coronavirus driving many positions to work from home, workplace social connections are becoming more difficult and complex. Even in working environments that are in person, the interactions are more distanced, often with masks, and thus more complicated. Employee mental health can suffer as a result of these losses in social interaction that used to be the norm throughout the day.
Ways Employers Can Foster Positive Employee Social Health
Employers can have a positive impact on employee social health. There are a lot of actions employers can take:
- Clearly define employee roles and responsibilities. This helps minimize employee conflict and foster better teamworking relationships.
- Provide appropriate tools for the job to foster good communication regardless of location.
- Encourage interactions outside of the workplace, such as sports teams or other social teams or clubs that meet for nonwork activities. (This, of course, may need to be postponed until coronavirus-related social distance restrictions are lifted.)
- Think twice before implementing workplace policies that pit employees as competitors, which can be negative for some people…
Source: HR Daily Advisor