Building a strong workplace community has perhaps never been this crucial. With the rise of remote and hybrid work options, and The Great Resignation still in full swing — creating an environment in which employees watch out and care for one another, and work together towards a shared purpose is essential. Not only does this attract and retain the best talent —but it also ensures this talent is happy and empowered to bring their best selves to work each day.
Why is a strong workplace community important?
Simply put, as humans, we tend to function better when we’re part of a supportive community—whether that’s in our professional or our personal lives. We feel supported, and valued knowing we can be our authentic selves without any judgement.
Considering that on average, we spend one-third of our lives at work, it’s no wonder employees are increasingly looking for this sense of community in the workplace too—and that employers failing to champion this environment are seeing high turnover rates and employee discontent.
A workplace with a strong sense of community encourages personal and professional development, which in turn, is likelier to lead to overall business growth and success too.
Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to fostering this sense of community, there is a thread that connects successful workplace environments, such as:
- An employee-first culture—one in which employees can express their concerns and opinions, and feel heard and respected
- Employees believe in the core values of the organisation they work for
- Employees respect and care for each other
- Transparency at all levels of the business
- There is easy access to resources and company news to share and learn from
- People connect, socialise and have fun together
So, how can you build this strong workplace community?
1. Review your communication strategy
A strong community is only as strong as its communication—so the first step to creating this sense of belonging among employees is knowing how to connect with them. Whether you do this in-person or virtually, make sure your communication strategy creates a real connection between the company and its workforce and encourages interaction between colleagues too. From company-wide meetings to weekly team briefings, to having an updated intranet space and a regular internal comms strategy—there’s a lot organisations can do to keep their employees in the loop of things, while also creating an environment in which communication is encouraged at all levels of the business.
2. Fill that events calendar
Team outings, after-work drinks, fitness or team sports—there’s nothing like some fun events to bring employees together. And, in most cases, it’s not just about the number of events, but rather the quality. Making sure you’re including a variety of events will help you target different audiences too—that’s likelier to increase your turnout too. Naturally, the easier you make it for your employees to get to your events, the likelier they are to attend them. So ensuring you’re planning that happy hour at the bar close to the office, or scheduling that group fitness class at a gym that’s a stone’s throw from your workplace tends to make these events far more appealing than those that are logistically more complex (and often, time-consuming). These events help create or strengthen bonds within the team—so facilitating them is key to ensuring no one feels left out.
3. Provide network opportunities
Creating opportunities for employees can connect and share their knowledge and experiences can be beneficial to staff and organisations alike—especially when these are focused on topics that are of profound importance to employees. These include topics such as mental health, diversity, equality, and parenting—just to mention a few. Getting a chance to connect with likely-minded professionals or colleagues with the same interests and concerns can potentially lead to better representation and improved diversity and inclusion across the entire business, which has become a top priority for many organisations worldwide—not only as a means to tap into often untapped talent markets but also as a means to contribute towards making these markets and society at large more fair and equal too.
4. Work from purpose-designed spaces
Even if your employees are working in a hybrid arrangement, it’s critical to create spaces in which your employees can socialise—such as lounges and food corners, and others in which they can collaborate effectively such as boardrooms, meeting rooms, training rooms, pitch arenas, or even private spots in which employees can meet informally to discuss anything work-related. Avenue 77 offers several areas, corners and rooms to meet and connect with people both as part of our serviced workspaces package, as well as our tailored workspaces setup—ensuring anyone working from our space that incentivises collaboration, communication and wellbeing.
5. Set and highlight your shared goals
Having a shared goal or purpose is key to bringing a community together—and the absence of one often means employees can feel alone or even unable to communicate any challenges they’re having, particularly when it comes to motivation at work. As a result, this can have lasting effects on their mental health and their self-esteem too. Setting broader company-wide goals, and smaller team-level ones, with clear guidelines on what everyone’s role in reaching them will be, as well as having a defined reward set means employees are likelier to work harder because they want to and not because they have to. This helps create a sense of purpose and belonging as well, which are the founding stones upon which a strong community is built.
Develop your workplace community with Avenue 77
Avenue 77 can help you develop your workplace community by offering the latest automation and technology, and a state-of-the-art design, all in a warm, comfortable and functional environment. Find out more about what we offer, and if you’d like us to talk you through our workspaces at Avenue 77, drop us a message now.