Building a sense of community at your company is vital for employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Therefore, following these tips will help build a foundational community for all your employees.
1. Fostering An Open Door Policy
“Having a sense of community within your organization is so important. The feeling of community grows within the mindset of the people in the organization. I think this starts with company leaders involving themselves in the cares and concerns of employees. One thing I’ve found to be helpful is developing an open-door policy so that people feel free to give feedback or ask questions.”
-John Lenz, VP Sales/President Hospitality at Intelligent Blends
2. Making Your Employees Feel Heard
“Many employees want to feel heard and seen. Hence, it is best to allow your employees to share their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Having this open line of communication will make your employees more comfortable with speaking up in group settings or individually with someone. Another way is to consistently check in with each individual and make sure they are doing well with work, family, and life. Making your employees feel heard, starts by making them feel important and valued.“
-Patrick Hicks, Head of Legal at Trust & Will
3. Employee Engagement Ideas and Events
“I think there’s been a lot of emphasis on this topic especially in the last year with so many companies that transitioned to working remotely. When employees feel as though they’re working as a community with like-minded individuals to accomplish a goal, it feels more meaningful. Whether you’re in office or not, I think someone should be working on employee engagement ideas and events. Whether that be a happy hour, a catered lunch, a team outing, etc., something to bring everyone together every once in a while makes a big difference.”
-Brandon Brown, CEO at GRIN
4. Finding Ways to Give Back
“Organize company wide activities to fundraise and help give back! Coming together as a company to make a positive impact in the world is a great way to show that each employee has a heart and wants to unite to do something special. Giving back brings a sense of gratitude and can vastly bring down stress levels in the office. Celebrating employee birthdays or even random holiday’s is a fun way to build a sense of community at your company, because it brings together employee’s to bond in unique ways. There are even many holiday’s that link to charities, which could combine both concepts and get the most out of celebrating! For example, Friday the 13th is an unlucky day- this is a great opportunity to bring together employee’s and change someone’s luck with a gift to help a person in need.”
-James Burati, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at 1-800-PackRat
5. Unique Outings With The Team
“Getting the company together outside of the office is incredibly important. Offering your company employee-taught yoga sessions or organized running groups is a great way for your employees to have a chance to bond over things that aren’t work related. It’s important to make sure your employees are clearing their head and getting fresh air so that they aren’t stressed about work all the time, and have a chance to connect in other areas. Planning company trips that revolve around going outside such as camping trips or beach trips are also thoughtful ideas to bring your employees together in a non-work related way.”
-Judy O’Loughlin, Copywriter at Vari
6. Volunteering and Community Events
“Community and work culture are important aspects of maintaining happy employees. You want your employees to feel included and as satisfied as they can be in their work environment. A wonderful way to bring your team together is by doing a good cause together! Coordinating a day (or multiple days!) where your team volunteers together in a volunteer program either created by your company or by partnering with an existing organization. This has been proven to boost employee morale and can help your teammates improve overall productivity. Volunteering is a great way for people to form closer bonds and can be a great opportunity to recognize your awesome employees who go out and give back!”
-Sanem Ahearn, VP of Marketing at Colorescience
“One fun way to develop a community within your team is by giving back to your community! You can take a survey amongst your team to identify which issues they care about most. From there, plan a fun day where you all go to volunteer at a local non-profit. For example, during the holiday season, Toys 4 Tots is always looking for people to help them sort their donated toys. Over the summer, you could volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore to help them organize their thrift area. Afterwards, you could go for a team lunch and bond over the helpful things you did that day.”
-Brooke Wilson, Community Outreach Manager at Fabric
7. Create a Survey to Better Understand Employee Satisfaction
“Engaging your employees while building culture will lead to a company that is unified, synergistic, and has a positive atmosphere. The easiest way to engage your employees while creating a culture is to send out a survey to every employee asking them about what they value in the workplace. Incorporate the responses you receive into your company’s values and tell your existing employees & new hires about these values. This makes it easier to determine how comfortable an employee feels to open up around the workplace. When you build more solid relationships, improve communication, and ask for help, the entire office will benefit.
On the other side of it, sometimes improving customer satisfaction often stems from having a strong community rather than the product or service itself. People want to join your community if they see the value in it, so you need to offer a much better experience than they may already be used to. Additionally, the wealth of feedback generated by a community of engaged customers feeds directly into making a better product.
As we’ve implemented this within our company, we’ve resulted in overall happier customers and happier employees. Having a space dedicated to your current customers lets them know that they’re still at the top of your mind even after a deal is closed, and that encourages them to choose you time and time again with your employees.”
-Daniel Kane, Founder at The Ridge Wallet
8. No Harm in Friendly Competition!
“Nothing builds community more than some friendly competition between co-workers, plus there are a plethora of options! You could host a trivia night for your team, see who runs the fastest mile, or even find out who can get the most likes on TikTok. By generating some friendly competition, you’re allowing your team to take a fun, bonding break. And don’t forget to compensate the winner to provide even more incentive!”
-Tom Mumford, Co-Founder at Undergrads
9. Celebrate Everything
Birthdays, working anniversaries, or even the occasional Monday! People spend so much time at work, so celebrating special days are always justified. A celebration can be as small as bringing in a cake and lunch or even as large as throwing a party after hours. By celebrating whenever you can, you’re able to increase motivation while also building trust amongst co-workers. Plus, we all need a fun break every once in a while!
-Jacob Dayan, CEO and Co-Founder at Community Tax
In conclusion, incorporating these useful tips into your workplace will increase employee satisfaction, make them feel heard, and help foster a better sense of community at your company. The biggest goal at the end of the day is making people want to work for your company and these are unique and tangible ways to do so.