Research has shown that some of the most common reasons for people leaving their jobs are: emotional disconnection from coworkers, a lack of sense of belonging (51%), a lack of trust in one another at work (46%), and a lack of a true sense of purpose that aligns with their values. People want to feel connected, and organisations need to continually look at ways to offer these connections.
Our jobs are no longer solely a source of income; they are a source of social interaction, support and guidance. As a result, organisations need to create a vibrant and supportive community around themselves if they are to thrive and flourish.
As humans, we require a sense of belonging. We are all, traditionally, part of different communities, involving our family and friends, our neighbourhood, our running or exercise buddies, and considering how much time we spend working, it only makes sense that organisations should also be a community for us.
The benefits of building a community
M. Scott Peck defines community as “a way of being together with both individual authenticity and interpersonal harmony so that people become able to function with a collective energy even greater than the sum of their individual energies.”
Being part of a community positively impacts our mental and physical health. We become more engaged and accountable as a result of it, and we are more likely to act when we have shared beliefs, interests, and goals.
Additionally, being a part of a community involves feeling free to speak up, share our thoughts and ideas, and express our feelings and emotions. It’s a safe environment where we can be ourselves.
It also improves collaboration and communication. It may even encourage healthy competition and knowledge sharing.
Furthermore, from a business standpoint, creating a community around our organisation helps to ensure employee engagement and satisfaction, which can positively impact employee turnover and productivity.
Building a community is about bringing people together
There are many reasons why individuals would like to go to the office, but we’re confident that sitting in front of a screen to perform a job that they could accomplish at home isn’t at the top of the list. Some people may be more productive in the office because there are fewer interruptions, but most of us go to the office for social interactions.
It’s about being together, the spontaneous conversations, the friendly jokes, the quick answers to questions, and even the banter about whatever is going on in our lives. We’re looking for a sense of belonging, the support of others, and the bonds formed by spending time together.
The aim of creating a sense of community around your company is to bring people together, and it will undoubtedly be a compelling incentive for people to go to the office. However, building a community must be about creating deeper connections wherever people work from.
Tsedal Neeley says “to treat the office as a tool and not a destination is a mindset shift that’s going to be really helpful in using the space in a way that’s productive for all.”
While working onsite is a terrific approach to develop a community around your company, it is far from the only option. People who work remotely, for whatever reason, should never be forgotten. They probably need their community even more.
4 basics when building a community
First of all, we must ask people and listen to what they want and need. Don’t waste your time thinking up great ideas just to discover that they aren’t what people truly wanted in the first place.
Also, be certain that your community is built on the foundations of trust and authenticity. As previously stated, a community is a safe place for people, thus it won’t operate unless it’s genuine.
Build your community around shared values, interests and goals. Just working in the same organisation doesn’t mean you all share the same values or interests; it doesn’t even mean you all have the same goals.
Involve everyone in the process. A community is a place where everyone has a voice and it has a positive impact because everyone is involved in the process and has a sense of belonging. People want to be heard and seen. To ensure that everyone is moving forward with the same goals and values, everyone needs to feel confident in voicing their opinions and concerns.
Some tips to build your community
Focus on bringing people together. Whether it’s for an away day, a daily activity or an after-work time out. Even if you do it in person or online, the essential part is that you centre your efforts around getting people together for a social time that they can use to create deeper connections.
Promote shared learning. The ability to learn from colleagues is one benefit people often miss out on when working from home, so promote the benefits of time and space for shared learning. Pair a senior employee with a new colleague, or schedule some time for learning and knowledge sharing during the week.
The Optimist View
We value community because we understand that things are always better when they are shared. And while we don’t spend a lot of time together in the same room, we have made it our mission to become closer together by sharing our day to day activities beyond the realms of our jobs. We know what our values are and what we are trying to achieve, so we don’t lose sight of our goals and motivation.
At Optimist Performance, we also help other companies to achieve their full potential, to build that community that will allow every individual to be their best.
We create unique experiences for you and your team. Also, our programmes focus on providing safe spaces and constructive environments in which people feel they can express themselves and voice their opinions.
If you would like to know more about how we may be able to help, get in touch for a free consultation. We are always happy to hear from you.