How to Build Community in the Workplace
Finding satisfaction in your job is something that everyone strives to achieve. Enjoying where you work is very important in finding this satisfaction, as is enjoying your time spent with the people with whom you work each day.
At QBS we’ve seen a lot of growth over the years, and with growth comes change, which isn’t always easy. But all along, QBS has been intentional about keeping what made it great in the first place – a sense of community. Let’s be honest, when you spend 40-plus hours a week with your coworkers – they pretty much become like another family, a work family.
There are many things that can become barriers to creating community, even the layout of your office building. If people work on different floors, wings, or event buildings, it might be challenging for different departments to intermingle and forge positive relationships. Leading us back to the idea of being intentional. Here are just a few ways you can begin, or continue, to build a sense of community within your organization.
- Bring fun into the workplace. It’s easy to do simple, small things both within and outside of the office to add a bit of fun. You can create playful competitions and encourage employees to express individuality by allowing a cubical, desk or office to be tastefully decorated. You can encourage employees to show team spirit for their sports teams on Fridays, dress up for Halloween or enjoy fun themed all-staff celebrations like Cinco de Mayo.
- Celebrate whenever possible. Do something special to recognize employees’ birthdays. If someone is getting married or having a baby, throw a shower. And, you can even celebrate your company spirit by hosting a “Spirit Week” (like we do at QBS) where team members participate in games or trivia each day. Not only do these create comradery, they provide employees with the opportunity to participate and support others.
- Encourage employee-driving events. While company leadership and management can do a lot to bring fun into the office, when other team members are brought into the planning and execution, it builds on that sense of teamwork. Create a group of employees to lead efforts on potlucks, holiday celebrations, or other ideas they might have which further encourage team members to do something more social at least once a month.
Once you’ve empowered your leadership and employees to do some of the items above, a great way to promote these events or important dates is to send out a monthly internal newsletter. It keeps everyone up to date on work anniversaries, new employees, birthdays, and more. It’s also the perfect place to share employee bios to give a sense of community. You just may find out a thing or two about an employee you did not know.
Overall, when there is a community in the workplace, it shines through in our work, our coworkers, our productivity and our leadership. There becomes a sense of openness to new ideas and employees of all levels. Wouldn’t it be great if your co-workers felt like a second family?
Making small steps over time, throughout the workweek, can make a significant difference overall for you, your team and your organization.