How to Build a Community, Not Just a Workplace

Contactzilla is simple, secure contact management that blends into your existing workflow seamlessly. Share address books with your colleagues, collaborate on keeping contacts up to date, sync with your phone and never be without the right phone number or email address again. Find out more.

Many of us spend over half our waking lives at work, and spend more time with our colleagues than our family and friends.

As workplace happiness is becoming more and more important to attract great employees and keep them engaged, now is the time to start thinking about your workplace and team as a community, not just an office and colleagues…

Create shared goals

To create a real sense of community in your team, you need to make sure that everyone shares some core interests, and what better interest to share than the future of your company.

To get everyone feeling united in their common interests, try to set shared goals which different team members, and even different departments, must come together to complete.

Strategic sales consultant and author Adrian Davis, believes sharing your goals with your teams will help to bring you together…

“A shared goal between your team and your partners opens up collaboration to a whole new level. Working towards the same goal redefines your relationship, and strengthens your teamwork. Each party represents an integral component to a goals success.”

Make sure everyone on your team is aware of your company’s mission and understands the part they play in helping to achieve it. The sense of working together to achieve a common goal will help to bring your team together as a community.

Feedback isn’t just for the boss

Encouraging your team to give feedback and make suggestions about the future of your company is key to building a community at work. If your team don’t feel that their opinions are valued, or their suggestions listened to, they are unlikely to invest in your community.

To really make your team feel like part of a community, you need to be open to their feedback and be willing to act on it when you can.

Inc writer, Tim Donnelly, stresses the importance of listening to employees in making them feel like a part of your community…

“Like a good therapy session, giving workers of all levels a chance to express their thoughts on the direction of the company has the opposite effect: Show your employees you’re interested in their opinions and they’ll be more likely take a personal stake in the business. They’ll go from feeling like they’re working for the man to feeling like they’re a part of the team.”

Get a watercooler, or create a virtual one

You can’t create a community at work if you’re not allowing your employees to get to know each other. Give them a place to hang out and chat, and don’t punish them when they do.

Management professor, Christine M. Riordan, believes that encouraging your employees to build friendships will benefit not only community, but productivity too…

“People in organizations need to work together. So, managers and employees need to foster collaboration, trust, personal relationships, fun, and support. In an increasingly global and virtual environment, challenges for employees and managers will be to cultivate these personal relationships.”

At Contactzilla HQ, we have a pool table where the team can take a break and have a chat over a game. They often end up talking through their work and go back to their desks refreshed and with a new perspective.

We also use Campfire to chat to each other without disturbing everyone else. Sometimes it’s about work, sometimes it’s not, but having a place to go and chat during the day helps to bring us closer together.

Conclusion

If you want to create a community, not just a workplace, you need to create a real sense of shared ownership among your team. Everyone needs to be invested in your company mission, understand the role they play in achieving it and willing to work together to make it happen.

Contactzilla is simple, secure contact management that blends into your existing workflow seamlessly. Share address books with your colleagues, collaborate on keeping contacts up to date, sync with your phone and never be without the right phone number or email address again. Find out more.

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