With all the talk about social networks these days, it seems many owners and managers have overlooked the most important network they have: their staff. Because they are your support system, your advisors, and your trusted partners in business, you should take great care to create a community relationship with them.
While business has always encouraged team building for the purpose of support, focus, and productivity, creating a community takes the benefits of a team and kicks it up several notches.
Take a look at just a few of the reasons why your business should be building a community environment.
Your employees will:
- Feel they are part of something bigger than themselves
- Be more committed to their work and your company
- Be more involved, engaged, and contribute more
- Be less likely to leave
- Spread the word and promote your company
- Refer other potential employees
- See their job as part of their identity
As you can see, a community puts mere team building to shame. In fact, it creates a unique and powerful force to advance your company's success.
Considering this, the next obvious question would be how to go about creating this "powerful force."
Well, you don't have to have a Facebook or Twitter account and you don't have to master social media. What you do need to do is tap into the basic instinct we all have to connect with each other. Man has been gathering in communities since the dawn of time. Heck, if cave men can get together, so can your employees.
Here are 10 simple ways you can create an environment at your business that will ensure your employees feel like they are part of a community:
- Make it easy to connect and share ideas
- Seek out opinions from all
- Encourage discourse and allow objections
- Encourage new thinking
- Be as transparent as possible
- Empower employees to have control over their own professional destinies
- Partner with employees to help them achieve their goals
- Make it easy for all employees to follow projects in real time
- Actively look for ways to allow employees to blend their work in to their personal lives
- Acknowledge achievements and milestones
When done right, forming a community environment will harness the collective talents of your employees, create a strong bond among them, and encourage a passionate dedication to your company.
Teams can't do all that!
So before you put your next team together, make sure you have established a community environment first. It doesn't have to cost much, the rewards are endless, and it's so simple even a cave man can do it.