The Challenges of Keeping Staff Connected


More than 4 in 5 workers continue to work hybrid or fully remote despite the government’s efforts to encourage returning to the office. Hybrid working models, it appears, are here to stay.

Though hybrid working offers flexibility, and saves business costs, it does come with challenges – one being, keeping staff connected. Let’s explore why it is difficult to keep employees engaged, and how businesses can better staff connectivity through different methods. 

What Is Employee Engagement and Why Is It Important?

Employee engagement refers to the relationship, or engagement, between employees and an organisation. A better engaged employee means a more productive, healthier and successful company.

An employee that feels more engaged with their work role and feels connected to their workplace leads to better job satisfaction, better retention of staff as well as a more cohesive work team. Employee engagement, while a broad term, is the glue that keeps workplaces functioning effectively. 

Nevertheless, keeping employees engaged and connected is one of the biggest challenges for HR professionals in a post-pandemic world. Not all workplaces have returned to in-person working, and so keeping teams and individuals connected with one another and their individual roles can be challenging. 

Why Is It Difficult to Keep Staff Connected?

It is evident that a workplace without the proper infrastructure in place will lead to poorly connected staff. Though many organisations have conquered hybrid and remote working, such as with the use of software, not all companies are within the same budget nor have been in their respective industries for as long. 

Whether it is poor management, or not having the appropriate communication tools in place for remote staff, having poorly connected staff eventually will lead to:

  • Lack of communication
  • An incohesive team 
  • Less productivity 
  • Less efficient work output 
  • Loss of creativity 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Potential loss of staff 

Essentially, staff that don’t feel connected to one another while working will lead to a less successful business. Nonetheless, there are steps businesses can follow and simple methods they can implement to make staff feel more connected while working and as a general team in the workplace. 

How Can Staff Be Better Connected? 

So, you might have a team that doesn’t seem to communicate effectively or a group of staff that feel they could be better connected to one another while working away from the office. Employee communication is one of the most important aspects of a business – without it, a business will not properly function. 

Here are some simple steps businesses should take in order to improve staff connectivity. 

Better Leadership 

More often than not, the reason employees don’t feel connected to one another is due to lack of leadership. If leadership positions aren’t fulfilled properly, such as a leader who doesn’t listen or communicate, then it will have a knock-on effect on other staff.

Though this may seem an obvious step, without a communicative or proactive leader many employees, especially those working hybrid or remote, will not feel connected to a team. Consequently, leading to lack of communication and motivation. 

Communication Tools 

Employees can’t properly connect to one another, or even customers, without the proper communication tools in place. For example, employees that are expected to work remotely yet have not been given the right tools to do so will lead to miscommunication and lack of organisation. 

Companies, therefore, should take advantage of the many software available nowadays that help staff to connect with one another. For example, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) business phone systems are an inexpensive way to better staff connectivity (source: bOnline). They are easy to install, can be used from anywhere without the need of a landline, and are feature-rich. For instance, they come with software such as video call conferencing which could make communication more seamless and easier between staff. 

Meanwhile, other communication tools which encourage staff to work more cohesively will lead to better employee satisfaction. There are many project management tools available at inexpensive costs on the market nowadays which can lead to better workflow and more transparency with projects, meetings and current deadlines staff need to meet but with one another. 

Recognition & Rewards 

Another way to keep staff connected and motivated is through recognising their efforts and even rewarding them. Some workplaces have implemented reward systems which means a staff member is recognised for their hard work. 

By recognition and rewards, we don’t mean monitoring every single step staff members take, nor do we mean creating unfriendly competition. To simply put it, encouraging your staff and recognising their efforts whether big or small will go a long way in terms of employee engagement. 

Measuring Employee Engagement 

Surveys – not everyone’s favourite. However, HR employees can implement more surveys or feedback sessions to understand why staff might not feel connected to one another or the workplace. Understanding the root of a problem will help long-term, and by asking for employees feedback it shows that they are important and listened to. 

Less Work, More Play 

Staff will not feel connected either if all they do is work! Well, we don’t mean completely scrap work, but trying to encourage socialising where possible will help create a better workplace atmosphere.

Workplaces can often be the feeding ground of tension and anxiety, whether that be through gossip or perhaps dissatisfaction with leadership. For whatever reason a workplace might not feel as friendly, the way to combat this is through encouraging socialising.

Why not set a time aside on a Friday for employees to relax a bit, and get to know one another better? Or perhaps have a monthly meet-up at a restaurant or pub, or even plan a big corporate event? Staff will work better if they can get to know one another, and have a little fun while doing so.