Social Connections: The Secret to Happy Employees

Have you ever worked at a job where it was discouraged to socialize with your coworkers? The writer of this blog has. The former boss preferred employees to call their colleagues on the phone, rather than walk down the hallway and talk in person. Perhaps that manager believed those connections led to lost productivity. He would be wrong.

Friendships at Work

One of the longest running studies out of Harvard recently revealed that forming connections with your coworkers can make you happier. And a happier workforce is a more productive one.

The results of the 85-year-long study were published in a new book, The Good Life. NPR interviewed the author and leader of the study, Dr. Robert Waldinger, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“The people who had the warmest connections with other people weren’t just happier, they stayed healthier longer. And they lived longer,” said Waldinger. “We get little hints of well-being, if you will, from all kinds of relationships – from friends, family, work colleagues. All of that seems to affirm our belonging, seems to affirm that we are seen and recognized by others.”


Lacking Social Connections

Maybe it’s the increase in remote work. Or the workforce has changed since the pandemic. Whatever the cause, new polls from Gallup found there’s a lack of social connections at work.

Only 32% of workers feel engaged with their coworkers. And only 2 out of 10 people report having a workplace best friend. That same report found those 20% with performed better at work and were less likely to leave.


Become More Social at Work

It may be hard to form connections with your coworkers when you work for a staffing agency. You don’t always clock in at the same community and interact with the same people day after day.

The lead author of the study suggests small actions.

“What we know with strengthening your relationships is that very tiny steps can lead to responses that will make you feel good,” said Dr. Waldinger.

That includes sending a colleague a quick text, having lunch with them or simply engaging in conversation about how their week is going. Over time, it can create lasting connections.


About Advena Healthcare Staffing

Advena Healthcare Staffing is dedicated to helping hospitals, health centers, long-term care and assisted living communities staff open needs throughout Kansas. We staff nurses, CNAs and CMAs, as well as DONs and Administrators. Placements include temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time and PRN positions.

To learn how you can join our team, click here or call Jennifer, our Director of Staffing and Client Relations, at (785) 789-3944. 

If you’re interested in working with us, feel free to reach out to Kaitie, our Director of Business and Talent Recruiting.