Article | Employee Relations

5 Ways to Create a Human Moment in a Busy Workday

Daryl Forkell
L 3 coworkers laughing stand up meeting
L 3 coworkers laughing stand up meeting

In today’s day in age, the words “busy” and “workday” are nearly synonymous. Research, in fact, shows only a quarter (28%) of employees take a lunch break, opting instead to eat lunch at their desk while continuing to work or skipping lunch altogether. With statistics such as these, it’s a wonder employees can find the time to do anything but work!

Despite the fast-paced business landscape of today, it’s important not to lose sight of the professional connections that can cultivate and deepen relationships with employees.

At Hallmark Business Connections, we believe in the power of the human moment: It’s created when employees feel like they truly matter to you. It’s a simple gesture that makes them stop, smile, and tell their friends, family, or peers.

Creating a human moment doesn’t have to be overly involved, time-consuming or cost very much (if anything at all). The point is to look for those opportunities to recognize and take a minute to connect with another individual to say, “It’s great to work with you!”

Let’s take a look at 5 examples of ways to create a human moment in a busy workday:

1. Say Thank You

One of the simplest, yet arguably most effective, ways of creating a human moment involves saying two words: thank you. Sixty-seven percent of employees surveyed by McKinsey & Company rate praise and commendation from managers as the top motivator for performance, beating out financial incentives.

But it goes beyond recognition from leadership: Being thanked for a job well done is reward in and of itself! As noted in an Open Forum blog, “The words ‘thank you’ are powerful. And sometimes all you need to do is to say them sincerely.”

2. Say Thank You (to an Employee’s Family or Spouse)

Beyond expressing thanks to an individual employee, another way to connect on a personal level is to say thank you to the employee’s family or spouse. A thank you card or gift basket sent to the employee’s loved ones can show not only how much the person means to you, but also express to the family how valuable the employee is to the company.

When it comes right down to it, “Writing a card to the employee’s entire family takes [saying thank you] to the next level,” says Open Forum.

3. Ask for the Employee’s Opinion

Think about the last time you were asked for your opinion by a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. Didn’t knowing that your perspective mattered to the person make you feel good?

“Involving employees in decisions is both respectful and practical,” states a Quality Digest article. “People who are closest to the problem or customer typically have the best insight on how to improve a situation, yet they are rarely asked for their opinion. As you involve others, you enhance their commitment.”

4. Engage in One-to-One Dialogue

It’s hard to feel truly connected to another person with a whole group of employees involved in the conversation. To create a human moment with one individual in particular, it’s important to engage in the type of one-to-one dialogue that can make the person feel special and acknowledged as an individual.

Forbes suggests that managers invite employees on one-on-one lunches to make them feel individually appreciated. Other ideas might include using an employee’s annual or semi-annual review to recognize all their contributions or even just stopping by their desk to connect at the beginning or end of the day.

5. Have a Little Fun!

“Taking the time to connect with employees has to be all work and no fun,” said no one, ever.

In fact, you could argue that one of the very best ways to create a human moment with a colleague is to have fun! Whether taking an employee out for coffee, catering in lunch, or hosting a happy hour, the key is to get out and mingle with colleagues.

After all, everyone enjoys having fun! There’s no rule that says that shouldn’t be the case in the workplace.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it: We’re all busy. While schedules and priorities will vary depending on the individual employee, it’s important not to let a busy workday get in the way of connecting with colleagues.

Creating a human moment isn’t just about getting to know coworkers better; studies have shown that companies with the most mature employee recognition approaches are 12 times as likely to see strong business results.

So, what are you waiting for? The time to show colleagues how great it is to work with them is now. Shop Employee Appreciation cards today!