Why is community at work important? According to the Harvard Business Review, when employees have a sense of community at work, they are:
- 58% more likely to thrive while on the job
- 55% more engaged
- 66% more likely to stay at their organization
At Davis & Company, we believe fostering a sense of community is a key role for the internal communication team. Here are five strategies to encourage community at your site or across the organization:
Working toward a common goal
A shared purpose is a powerful driver of feeling part of something bigger—especially when teams or employees understand how they contribute. First, articulate the goal in a compelling, easy-to-understand way. For example, “Let’s improve customer satisfaction by 5% this quarter.” Then, involve employees in figuring out how to get there.
Stories are much more captivating than facts and figures. Identify stories that reinforce what’s important at your organization. Perhaps there’s an employee who went out of her way to help a customer. Or an employee who volunteers at a local charity. And if you’re ready to take this idea further, create mechanisms for employees to share these stories, such as a template for posts on the intranet.
Encouraging cross-functional experiences
“Working in silos” is a phrase we often hear from employees—the opposite of community. The good news is communication can contribute to breaking down silos. For example, identify a challenge the business is facing and bring a cross-functional group together to collaborate on a solution.
Enabling shared interests
For employees, community includes more than the business at hand. It also covers personal interests and activities. Facilitate those shared interests by helping employees connect: a discussion thread devoted to employees with pets, a summer afternoon mix and mingle or a book club.
Contributing outside the organization
When employees see their organization making a difference in the towns and cities where they work, pride builds—another trigger for building community. Share your organization’s plan to contribute to the broader community, make it easy for employees to participate and celebrate their involvement.