7 ways to build a strong community at the workplace

“Workplaces are communities, built around the relationships we have with our peers. When these relationships are strong, they can be a source of energy, learning, and support.” – Harvard Business Review

The healthiest and happiest workplaces are those where teammates work together to build a robust community. Indeed, communities are the lifeblood of a successful organization. A community makes people bring out their best, makes work fun and furthers the mission of the company.  It also makes employees believe in the work they’re doing, leading to more successful careers and fulfilling personal lives.

Every team and every organization has its own unique culture which largely influences its capacity to create a flourishing community. Just like with people’s personalities, a company’s culture determines what types of people are attracted to and enjoy being involved. Company culture is the foundation upon which a workplace community is built.

Here are 7 ways you can build and foster a healthy community  

1. Create a sense of belonging: Employees who feel that they’re part of a community, care more about each other’s well-being and success. In such an environment, professionals access a higher level of support from one another, which can reduce their stress levels and heighten their engagement at work. Healthy workplaces prioritize community building by embedding belonging and transparency into the fabric of their culture.

 2. Involve employees in decision-making processes: A workplace that builds community involves employees in decision-making processes. Taking part in these processes helps people invest more in an organization’s success and feel a sense of responsibility in overcoming any challenges to progress that may arise.

3. Offer professional growth opportunities: Community-oriented workplaces often provide employees with various opportunities for professional or personal growth customized for their particular needs. Employees who take advantage of these opportunities, automatically bring more value to their roles and encourage others to pursue growth.

4. Enhance collaboration: When people feel like they’re part of a happy community, they trust each another more. This increased level of trust makes employees more willing to collaborate, take other perspectives into account and share their viewpoints openly. A positive workplace culture make make people feel welcome no matter their differences.

5. Improve communications: This type of workplace environment can often lead employees to communicate more efficiently. Improved communication can significantly improve their ability to work interpersonally and result in benefits like clearer expectations and higher rates of productivity. Team-building activities can include opportunities like company retreats, weekly get-togethers, happy hours, exclusive service days and more. A weekly get-together (Friday hangouts at lunch or after work hours). If you are working remotely, you can do potluck lunches via Zoom too.

Another team-building activity is to volunteer together. Such events humanize the team, increase trust, and facilitate better communication.

6. Help them understand how their contribution matters: Being part of a community can help professionals better understand how their individual contributions can fit into the larger team goals. This is how they feel a greater sense of accountability toward their company mission and deliver a higher level of good quality work.

 7.  Support a sense of accomplishment: With all of the above—improved support, more opportunities for growth, greater personal investment, optimized collaboration, better communication and higher rates of productivity—combined, organizations that emphasize community can achieve individual and overall professional satisfaction effectively.

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