How to Turn Your Workforce into a Community

By Jason Richmond, CEO and Chief Culture Officer, Ideal Outcomes Inc.

When most people think about the workplace, they think about a place where people go to earn a living. They think about a place where people are assigned tasks and are expected to complete them in return for a paycheck. However, the modern workplace is more than just a place of work - it can also be thought of as a community. After all, it's the people who work for you that make your company what it is.

While you can't force people to be friends, there are things you can do to encourage them to interact and build relationships with each other. Not only can your employees benefit from this sense of community, but your bottom line can benefit too.

In this blog post, we'll discuss what workplace communities look like and explore some ways to create them.

A workplace community is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal. In many ways, a workplace community is like any other community - there are shared values and norms, and members of the community often support each other. Communities in the workplace can often be helpful for networking and sharing ideas as well.
A workplace community should help employees feel that they have a sense of belonging, mutual support, and camaraderie within their organization. This can manifest itself in many ways, from social events and team-building exercises to simply fostering an open and supportive environment where employees are comfortable communicating and working together.

Benefits of a Workplace Community

Workplace communities can have many benefits for businesses. Here are just a few:

Increased Engagement
A workplace community can play a big role in increasing employee engagement. By bringing employees together, a workplace community can help employees feel more connected to their teams and their work, motivating them to do their best. Communities can also help employees feel supported and appreciated, leading to a more positive work experience.

Purpose & Belonging
It's important for employees to feel connected to their organization's mission and values, and a workplace community can help achieve this. A strong workplace community can also make employees feel like they’re a part of something larger than themselves, increasing their sense of purpose.

Stronger Recruitment
A positive workplace community can help boost an organization's recruitment efforts, as many candidates are looking for an organization with a strong sense of community. In addition, a sense of community can help businesses retain existing employees via the enhanced purpose, belonging, and engagement discussed above.

Improved Communication
Communication is a vital part of any workplace. It helps to keep everyone on the same page and can help prevent misunderstandings. A strong sense of community can help increase communication in the workplace through a culture of openness and transparency, which can encourage people to communicate more freely.

Moreover, studies show that:
  • Employee morale is significantly impacted by insufficient communication in the workplace
  • A business with strong communication is over four times more likely to retain its employees.

Enhanced Creativity
Lastly, a workplace community can increase creativity by providing employees with a supportive and collaborative environment. Employees should be encouraged to share ideas and work together to find creative solutions to problems. This environment fosters innovation and allows employees to tap into their creativity.

How to Build Community in the Workplace

Now that we know what communities are and why they matter in the workplace, let's look at how to build a strong sense of community.

Encourage Community Building
Intentional community-building efforts are crucial to building an open, positive, collaborative environment in the workplace. Some great ways to do this are to:

Set up social events: Host regular social events, such as happy hours or potlucks, that allow employees to get to know each other outside of work. This can help break down barriers and encourage collaboration.

Encourage team activities: Organize team-building activities, such as group workouts or volunteer projects, that will allow employees to work together.

Promote communication: Ensure employees have plenty of opportunities to communicate with one another, both in person and online. This will help them get to know each other better and develop stronger relationships.

Foster a Culture of Learning

One of the most important things you can do to foster a culture of learning in your workplace is to provide employees with opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge. This can be done through formal training programs or informal means such as on-the-job learning, mentorship programs, and online resources.

Another key way to promote a culture of learning is to encourage employees to share their knowledge with others. This can be done through formal knowledge-sharing initiatives, such as lunch and learns or seminars, and informally through everyday interactions and conversations.

Celebrate Collective Success

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to celebrating success in the workplace. What matters most is that collective success is celebrated in a way that makes everyone feel valued and appreciated.

When celebrating collective success, it’s important to consider everyone's contributions and not just those of the top performers. Recognizing all employees for their hard work and dedication is a key way to build a positive and supportive environment.

There are many ways to celebrate collective success in the workplace. Some companies host regular team-building events, while others offer recognition and rewards programs. Whatever the approach, the goal should be to create an atmosphere of celebration and support.

Promote Inclusion

When it comes to promoting inclusion in the workplace, employers need to take a proactive approach. There are several things they can do to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued.

One of the most important things employers can do is provide training on diversity and inclusion. This will help employees understand the importance of inclusion and how to create an inclusive environment.

Employers should also make sure that their workplace policies and procedures are inclusive. This means ensuring that there’s no discrimination or harassment based on race, gender, religion, sexuality, or any other protected grounds.

Putting it All Together

A sense of community is critical to the success of any workforce. A strong community atmosphere can help employees feel connected to their work, build relationships, and foster a sense of belonging. By creating purpose-driven, structured, and participatory communities, you can harness the power of collaboration and improve your business outcomes.
At Ideal Outcomes, we help businesses achieve their ideal culture through culture strategies, tools, resources, and guidance. Learn more about how we can help or contact us today to get started.