Encouraging social connection and camaraderie during or after work creates an environment where employees can foster social ties, find commonalities, and create a support network. 

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Social Well-being: Creating Meaningful Connection with Others 

Posted By Jennifer S. Pitts, Ph.D. 5/5/2016
While social skills are internal to an individual, social health is about having positive and satisfying relationships with other people. Positive social ties and connections with colleagues and supervisors at work, support from family and friends, and engagement with community and neighborhood can all influence social health. There is a vast amount of literature on the impact of social factors on mortality, physical health, wellness, and well-being. For example, interactions with friends and family have been shown to be positively associated with healthy outcomes in ailments of the elderly, including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and emphysema. Conversely, there is a growing body of evidence showing that conflict in families is associated with a host of physical ailments in children of those “risky family” environments.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Pitts
Customs and traditions are also a part of social networks. Some types of traditions may influence health by creating a norm that impacts employees’ decisions. These traditions are found in social circles such as ethnic groups and religious communities, as well as in workplaces. Workplace traditions around healthy behaviors can help shape positive norms. For example, start a Friday morning tradition of providing fresh fruit instead of donuts and coffee, or celebrate a team goal with a brisk afternoon group walk instead of a pizza party.