People are lonelier than ever at work these days. As a manager, you have the ability to promote friendship and meaningful connection at work, which will boost employee retention, morale, and motivation. Here’s how. Make connection-building a routine on your team. An example might be Gratitude Mondays, where employees start each week by sharing something they’re grateful for. Or Storytelling Fridays, where each week, a different employee chooses to share a personal story and their coworkers can ask follow-up questions. Rituals like these spark curiosity and compassion, and can improve belonging. It’s also helpful to make it easier for people to ask for support from one another. You might create “reciprocity rings,” where people can get together in person or via Zoom on a quarterly basis, and share something they’re struggling with professionally, and explain what type of help would be useful. Then the rest of the group can offer ideas, contacts, and resources. And remember it’s not just connections with coworkers that matter. Support more generous family leave policies, time off for renewal, and “work-free hours” so employees can spend more time with family and friends as well.