Studies show that we will spend an average of a third of our lives at work.1 Combine this with the fact that the pandemic has seen almost half of U.S. employees now working from home, it’s become more important than ever to stay connected with our fellow colleagues.
Over the years, one of the things Net Health has prided itself in is employee engagement. Whether it’s creating opportunities for employees to participate in different activities or checking in with each other during scheduled coffee breaks, maintaining a positive company atmosphere has always been one of the main focuses.
That’s why, for more than a decade, the one event employees tend to look forward to the most every year is CONNECT.
What Is CONNECT?
CONNECT is a much-anticipated event at Net Health that gives colleagues the annual opportunity to get to know each other better and celebrate ongoing strides and accomplishments, and have a connection point from where they can engage, interact and be present. From breakout groups to Nhed Talks to an awards ceremony, there is always something for everyone.
The History of CONNECT
More than a decade ago, CONNECT – originally dubbed the “strategy café” – started out as a pre-selected day filled with team activities, facilitated by small groups who talked about four big issues they were facing at the time and ways they wanted to improve. There was even a sushi rolling contest for some friendly competition and fun!
Initially, the community-building event took place at various times throughout the year. People got together for Summer CONNECT, Winter CONNECT, and more. However, once the company started growing, it made sense to narrow it down to once a year when the whole Net Health family could get together.
The vision was simple: To inspire, connect and educate.
According to Patrick Colletti, one of the founders of Net Health, he believed that “if we can be together, understand our challenges and face them together, in community, we will be our best.”
From In-Person to Virtual Connections
Granted, due to the pandemic and the growing number of work-from-anywhere employees all across the country, the company has had to make certain changes and adjustments. Since 2020, CONNECT has moved from an in-person setting to a virtual platform, and this year had more than 200 new employees experienced this exciting event for the very first time.
With the efforts of a stellar media/production team, as well as close to 100 Net Health employees who offered and volunteered their time for months to put this two-day event together, this year’s CONNECT came to life on October 21 and 22.
Two Days of Fun and Unforgettable Memories
In addition to employee awards and breakout groups where colleagues had the opportunity to get to know each other better, there were also a few deep and thought-provoking Nhed Talks, presented by employees themselves. For these 10-minute talks, three individuals shared personal stories that were both meaningful and inspiring. From grief/suicide loss to ageism to addiction and recovery, these sessions provided a great opportunity to know fellow colleagues in a much more personal manner.
Other inspiring segments included employee spotlights with a 30-second or one-minute round of rapid-fire questions, as well as mentor and mentee stories about employees who turned to professional guidance on how to advance their career and reach their work-related goals. Plus, everyone also had an opportunity to ask the Execute Leadership Team (ELT) questions about the company and its future, which all leaders provided live and unrehearsed answers to.
Your Story, Our Story
Every year, the feedback and energy after CONNECT is oftentimes overwhelmingly positive. What is it about a two-day event that spurs such enthusiasm and joy? One may say that, as human beings, it’s all tied to our deep desire to socially connect.
As a matter of fact, scientist Matthew Lieberman says that our need for connection is just as powerful and fundamental as our need for food and water.2 So it’s clear to see why these opportunities that allow others to be seen and heard, while fostering lasting bonds, are invaluable. And connecting at work in a meaningful and impactful way will always remain the true essence of both CONNECT and Net Health as a whole.
1 Reference.com, “What Percentage of Our Lives Are Spent Working?,” March 24, 2020.
2 Scientific American, “Why We Are Wired to Connect,” October 22, 2013.