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  • Writer's pictureStryker

Beyond the screen: Tips for making meaningful connections in any work environment

At Stryker, one of our core values is people. We’re committed to attracting and retaining great people who are passionate about our mission to make healthcare better. As part of our dedication to our employees, we’re fully committed to building a workplace that isn’t only flexible, but also engaging.

Let’s start with flexible working – we offer four models of work flexibility, Remote, field-based, onsite and hybrid. . . but wait, if we’re all working in different locations how can we build meaningful connections with people we don’t always bump into at the water cooler?

Good news – at Stryker, we thrive on innovation, and our teams have found or created meaningful ways to build relationships with one another whether they see each other in person every day, meet once a year at an event or only connect virtually. So, what’s the secret?  How do employees who “work” together, sometimes in the same office – sometimes across the world from one another make connections that go beyond daily work and turn into meaningful relationships that enhance workplace satisfaction?  Let’s find out.

Here are four tips for building workplace connections in a hybrid world:

Step one: Leverage your internal resources

Did you know. . . Stryker has internal resources that are specifically designed to help our employees grow professionally while making meaningful connections? Here’s a few examples:  

  • Our Individual Development Plans (IDPs) can be leveraged to establish formal goals that can help build your internal network. Whether you’re looking to develop leadership acumen or want to job shadow a different function,  establishing a formalized action plan supports meeting new people at work while learning a new skill.

  • We offer nine employee resource groups (ERGs) that offer the opportunity for Stryker employees who share common backgrounds and their allies to connect and grow together. Fun fact: Our ERGS hold both in-person and fully remote activities.  Recently, Stryker’s Women’s Network hosted a fully virtual ‘Galentine’s Day’ celebration where attendees were guided through making a charcuterie board and a mocktail while catching up with one another.

  • We also have several internal communication tools designed to enhance collaboration. By joining interest groups, employees are able to actively connect with their co-workers around the world from the comfort of their computer or smart phone.  Posts range from celebrating each other’s achievements, uploading daily sunrise at Stryker pictures or talking about weekend

Step two: Play matchmaker

It’s often said that a great party host is like a matchmaker of the social scene, bringing together people who may have never met. It turns out, a great friend at work, is also like a matchmaker, introducing you to people across the company that you wouldn’t normally engage with.  Don’t believe us? We’ve got evidence. 

Case study on workplace matchmaking:

Debra lives in New York; she sits on the same team as Leslie who lives in Michigan. Debra and Leslie talk regularly, know about one another’s personal lives and have become friends outside of the “office”. Leslie met Shannon through a project they were collaborating on – Shannon lives in Texas.  During their initial meeting, Leslie knew she had to connect Shannon and Debra. They have a shared love of dogs, views on parenting and sense of humor. Leslie sent an introduction email – and the rest is history! Debra and Shannon connected and now meet regularly to chat and connect.

So, who do you know? Do you think two (or more) of your co-workers would hit it off if you introduced them? Be the link, make the connection happen!

Step three: Meet in person

Have you ever met someone online and had a great connection, but worried it wouldn’t translate to the real world?  We’ve got good news – based on a very unscientific study (conversations with our employees about their experiences going from video calls to being in person), we’ve found that this isn’t an issue at Stryker.  Employees have reported time and time again, that when they’ve connected with colleagues via phone or video and then meet them in real life, the only thing that changes is the relationship continues to grow.  

Ways to meet other Stryker employees in the real world:

  • Visit a Stryker office: If you live close to one, pop in now and then. Our offices are buzzing with energy, host employee engagement events and have plenty of onsite amenities that make the trip worthwhile.

  • Attend in-person meetings: If you’re given the opportunity to attend an in-person meeting, do it! While a lot of time may be spent in meetings or sessions, take the time to grab a quick cup of coffee or go for a walk with someone you’ve only chatted with virtually.  Being “voluntold” to attend an event and socialize can feel a little awkward but view it as a gift to meet new people you may have missed out on!

  • Extend the invite: Do you work with someone you love talking to? It’s OK to put yourself out there and ask a work friend if they want to hang out. Many of our fully virtual teams look for chances to meet in person with their colleagues. Whether it’s grabbing lunch or going to a wedding, the time our teams spend together helps create a deeper bond and further their workplace engagement. 

Step four: Slide into their DMs

If you’re eager to meet more Stryker folks, LinkedIn’s your playground. Search for #WeAreStryker to dive into content posted by our employees and expand your circle. Maybe someone posted about their epic Stryker-versary or their adorable Stryker pet. Take the plunge and send them a message. Think of it as the only HR-approved way to slide into someone’s DMs.


Doing great work with great people

Don’t forget that at Stryker our core value of putting people first isn't just about doing great work; it's about creating meaningful relationships that enrich our professional lives and contribute to our collective success and each interaction is a step towards building a stronger, more connected Stryker community. So, take the leap, reach out and continue to foster connections that go beyond the workplace.

Together, we're not just making healthcare better; we're also creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, supported, and connected.

Ready to join our team? View all open roles here.



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