Fostering Social Interactions to Improve Employee Wellness

If it sometimes feels like the closest relationships being developed at work are with spreadsheets, emails, and any variety of machines, it may be time to add a little fun to boost social interactions.

According to Gallup, employees who have a friend at work are twice as likely to be engaged (63%) as compared with those who don’t (29%). This can lead to innovative discussions, healthy competitions, and meaningful connections that boost overall wellbeing and productivity. The following ideas are easy, affordable and a great way to get people interacting.

  1. Costumes and karaoke. Name the day and theme and turn lunch or a late afternoon into karaoke time. Our favorites? ‘80s day would be awesome, but so would “summer” (think Beach Boys and Hawaiian shirts). Decide as a team!
  2. Harmony day. Alsco, a New-Zealand-based company, gave us this idea for celebrating cultural diversity (the country celebrates Harmony Day each March): “Harmony day events are those special occasions set aside for employees to display their culture for every other employee to understand them better and appreciate them.” Since food makes all celebrations tastier, you could encourage people to bring a cultural treat. It’s a great way for everyone to get to know and understand their coworkers better!
  3. Social media time budget. Yes, you heard us — wellness gurus assert that less time spent on social media can add up to more time for fun in real life. Start in the workplace by challenging workers to put themselves on a social media budget (i.e. cut their total social media time in half or spend only 20 minutes per day on social media) and set a goal for how they’ll spend that newfound wealth of time. You can even encourage them to start tracking time spent on electronic devices (there are apps for that) if they’re not sure how much time they currently spend on different social media platforms. While the real winners are the workers who meet or exceed their goals, you could sweeten the deal by offering prizes.

Thanks to Alsco for these great tips to improve social interactions at work — and 143 more to enhance overall employee wellness!

social interactions at work

Positive social interactions at work help employees be more engaged and productive.

Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Author Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Along with being a Master of Human Resources, Laura is a master of communicating and provides her clients with world-class customer service. She can really cut some rug on the country swing dance floor and enjoys musical theater in between motorcycle rides.

More posts by Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP