3 Ways to Enhance Community Within Your Organization
July 7, 2021
By Kelly Briggs
Building a sense of community within the workplace is a continual process, especially as the modern workforce evolves. A new generation is entering the workforce, teams of co-workers are collaborating in multiple locations across the globe — in part because of the remote working conditions post-pandemic — and alternative employment (a.k.a. gig work) is a new reality for many workers.
Today’s employees are seeking organizations where they can feel welcomed, get involved and make meaningful contributions to a larger mission. As a result, the employee experience is transforming to meet the needs of a diverse work community.
According to the 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, "workers should feel comfortable at work, including being treated fairly and respected by their colleagues. They should feel connected to the people they work with and the teams they are a part of. And they should feel that they contribute to meaningful work outcomes — understanding how their unique strengths are helping their teams and organizations achieve common goals."
Of those surveyed, the report found that contribution and connection drive belonging more than comfort alone:
25% identified COMFORT as their biggest driver of belonging;
fostering an environment were workers feel they are treated fairly and can bring their authentic sense of selves to work.
31% identified CONNECTION as their biggest driver;
having a sense of community and identifying with a defined team.
41% identified CONTRIBUTION as their biggest driver;
feeling aligned to the organization's purpose, mission and values and being valued for their individual contribution.
Here are three ways to cultivate a stronger a sense of community among your workforce.
1. Give Employees the Recognition They Need, Wherever They Work
With the pandemic splitting the workforce between business locations and home offices, it has become challenging to consistently recognize employees for their efforts and accomplishments. But employees still need their psychological needs met; they still need to be recognized, noticed and appreciated for their work and contributions no matter where they sit. Consider adding these ideas into your routine:
- Start each meeting by recognizing someone who did exceptional work or by encouraging teammates to recognize each other. Use these times to support and praise each other, to reinforce the comfort, connection and contribution that builds community.
- Include gig workers in your recognition efforts — helping them understand their role within the team and how they contribute to the community builds trust and improves the entire team culture.
- Find creative ways to make recognition special, personalizing the experience and making it public or private, depending on the recipient's preferences.
- Celebrate all moments large and small. Every occasion can be a reason to recognize, whether it is a service anniversary, life event, sales achievement, safety adherence, thank you, appreciation and more.
- Coordinate virtual hangouts for team-building social time so that your team can bond in a fun setting.
2. Offer Versatile Ways of Delivering Personalized Recognition
Another strong facilitator to building community is allowing employees to personalize recognition by letting them select from a variety of recognition formats. While employees can provide recognition one-on-one or to an individual during a team meeting, employee engagement platforms allow for robust digital solutions, including e-cards, video messages and point awards that can keep recognition memorable long after the event. For example, if an employee is celebrating a major service anniversary, colleagues can record a video on their smartphone to share personal well wishes or favorite moments from working with the recipient.
If you don't already have one, consider using an employee engagement platform to make recognition easier, quicker, and more efficient for you and your employees.
3. Incorporate Social Events that Promote an Inclusive Community
Giving employees an opportunity to socialize during work-related events is another way to help teams bond and gives all workers a chance to connect with peers from other departments. By posting upcoming events and company announcements on the community page within your engagement platform, employees can stay up-to-date on what’s happening and select which socializing and volunteer opportunities they are interested in attending.
Creating diverse social events builds an inclusive culture in which all employees feel they can participate at work with their whole self.
Building a cohesive community within the workplace takes time. By providing employees with the tools they need (read: a technology platform) and opportunities to recognize, celebrate and socialize with one another, they will create lasting results that foster an inclusive culture where all employees feel connected to your organization.
4 Ways to Level-up Your Video Skills
Shoot videos horizontally. Recording a video in the “landscape mode” makes a video message easier to view because it matches the format of computer monitors and TV screens.
Use a tripod. A smartphone tripod can reduce the risk of shaky video footage. If shooting video for a co-worker, hold a smartphone horizontally with both hands and keep your elbows bent and locked against your torso to avoid camera shake.
Find a quiet space to record. Before recording, find a quiet area with minimal background conversation or ambient noise, as your smartphone’s microphone can pick up both your voice and anything in the background. To get the clearest sound, hold your smartphone close and silence your phone to avoid text message pings.
Keep an eye on the background. Find a blank wall or visually appealing setting to record your message. Avoid busy backgrounds or windows because the former can be a distraction and the latter can cause an unintentional silhouette.