There is a lot of talk about human connectivity in our post-Covid world. Prior to Covid, we mostly met in person, but that has been replaced by working remotely and meeting via video conference. Many love the freedom of a hybrid workplace but some truly hate it.
Human connectivity is paramount to our psyche. According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid, from the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, include physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization. Human connectivity falls in the love and belonging category, which is only eclipsed by physiological and safety needs, needs for survival.
I am of the opinion that love and belonging are what drive happiness in humans. We are very social creatures by nature, and I feel that when that sense of love and belonging is taken away, we can become something different. For me as a leader, a lack of human connectivity is the single greatest challenge or obstacle in business today.
Here is an example. Over the past few years, I have developed a great relationship with our bank. I have a good rapport with the primary folks who help with our business accounts and am very pleased with their servant approach to their clients. It dawned on me that it might be great to get them out of the office and spend some time away from the business setting, so I took the two of them fishing. As a result, we developed a heightened level of human connectivity and in a short period of time, I was able to develop a much deeper and meaningful relationship with both. A very small investment in time to build a deeper and lasting relationship. I would say that this was a great use of my time.
Human connectivity can be easily overlooked, and it takes work. I think that the “work” part is what is driving so many people to not put in the effort. I am seeing this across the board from volunteer organizations to safety groups and it is alarming. The one common thread that I have observed in my 30 years in the safety profession is relationships and connectivity. Without them, it feels that business is not as rewarding, and relationships are sterile.
Join me in focusing on connectivity. It is important and it starts with each of us. The rewards are immeasurable.