Building a positive work environment with a strong workplace community is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. A team that works well together will deliver better results than a team that doesn’t.
Why a strong workplace community is important
When employees feel as though they’re working within a community of likeminded coworkers and managers, their work becomes more meaningful. With a sense of camaraderie comes increasing ease of communication between employees. Simply feeling part of a team working on a task helps motivate people to take on more challenges.
A strong workplace community is particularly important if you’re looking to reduce your turnover rate. To nurture a sense of workplace community, it’s important to be deliberate and plan ahead. Strong workplace communities grow best when someone is focused on working on employee engagement ideas and events.
5 Ideas to build a strong workplace community
Here are five practical ways you can build a sense of workplace community in your company, and you can do it on any budget.
Saying well done is a powerful motivator. Whether it’s a hand-written note of thanks, a spot-bonus, quarterly awards and commendations from the top, or peer to peer recognition from and of coworkers, there are many ways to recognise and reward your employees. Key to success is to create an environment where recognition can flow from anyone.
Making recognition a standard part of your company culture will help create a sense of belonging and appreciation which is a great foundation for building workplace community.
2. Team outings
One of the most obvious ways to create a sense of workplace community is to organise events outside of work, enabling your people to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Regular social events help create bonds within the team and boost employee morale. Your team outing can be as simple as regularly planning to have lunch at a local restaurant or a few drinks after work on a Friday in the local bar. However, the quirkier you can make it, the more likely you and the team will be able to have a good laugh about it afterwards and bond over the experience.
3. Fitness or sports teams
Promote fitness activities to show your people that you are committed to their health while cultivating team spirit and employee participation. There’s nothing like your employees competing together in organised sport to build team cohesiveness.
Get involved in a local soccer or netball tournament and sponsor a team by paying registrations fees and funding suitably branded kits.
Make sure you take lots of photos of your team in action and publish to your internal platforms and social media. It’s a great way to build your team’s rapport, profile and build community exposure. (For ideas to support wellbeing initiatives, see our previous post on wellbeing initiatives for Millennial employees.)
Volunteering for a worthy cause is a great way to cement your workplace community spirit. Taking part in volunteering events encourages both the company and employees to give back to the community, while promoting the causes your people care about most. It’s also worth remembering that your Millennial cohort is a group of idealistic, altruistic individuals. As a generation, they are passionate about social causes that benefit the greater good.
Sponsoring a team of employees to do a charity walk, run, or swim not only bonds your employees together, it can help boost morale, and generate positive vibes in the workplace. At the same time, your company gets the kudos of doing something worthy for the community, and ultimately raising brand perception.
But it’s important to take an employee centric approach to volunteering. Rather than specifying which particular organisations you will support, find out what causes matter most to your people and support individual efforts or group decisions. This will this help to encourage team spirit and camaraderie.
5. Purpose-designed spaces
It’s important to provide your employees with spaces to come together socially – whether it’s the kitchen, ping pong table, or informal seating scattered throughout the office. Your people need to be able to chat, whether it’s about the weekend’s footy or solving a specific workplace challenge.
However, while the physical space you work in is an important factor, so too are the unwritten rules of your workplace culture. Even best physical workspace won’t engender a sense of community if your workplace culture is out of step. Your team won’t use those cool breakout spaces to hang out or take a power nap if senior executives frown upon it.
Build your workplace community with Flare
You don’t have to invest a fortune to build workplace community, but you do need to create structured opportunities for employees to get to know each other.
See for yourself how our platform can help you attract and retain great people with best-in-class employee wellbeing and engagement initiatives. Flare offers a free paperless onboarding software and free employee benefits with access to hundreds of leading retailer like Woolworths and Kmart. If you want to learn more about how Flare HR can support your business and employees during this time, please request a demo.