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October 31, 2022

Building Culture in Uncertain Times

Building Culture in Uncertain Times

Community in a workplace has many benefits. When employees feel like they’re part of a community at work they also feel like they belong. Team members feel connected to their work which makes them more engaged and likely to stay. A workplace community even helps workers fight loneliness, and can even improve health. With a healthy and engaged workforce, it’s no surprise companies that build great workplace communities have as much a stronger bottom line, by as much as 21% in profits.

Build better communities at work with these tips.

  1. Prioritize building community as a main goal in the 2023 corporate strategy. Once you set event dates in the calendar keep them in place and avoid changing them around or shortening their duration. Leadership should participate. Says they care about the state of their workplace community and believe in human connection and quality working relationships. This increases the likelihood that workers will join because they see management values these activities. 
  1. Put together a tangible strategy that includes both internal and external activities. Internal activities focus on getting workers to share and learn about one another’s perspectives. Examples can include cross-department shadowing, lunch and learn with a spotlight on different departments, communication style training, and team performance training. 

    Strengthening the different teams’ knowledge of the different departments and individuals can make a huge impact on the way employees identify and solve problems. Teams enjoy less destructive conflict and more safety to give and receive feedback. 

    External activities that build team culture are those that serve a need outside of the company, but one that compliments the company’s vision and values. External activities include volunteering for non-profit organizations, giving a portion of profits to philanthropic causes, and hosting public events encouraging mentorship, networking, learning, and development. 
  1. Rituals build team culture as well, and they don’t fall into the category of “event”. They’re mannerisms that become habits and become characteristic of the company belonging and values. Think along the lines of special greetings, slogans, chants, and cheers. Are there any comical inside jokes the workers share? Playing these things up can create a fun and powerful bond. Colleges and Universities excel at using rituals to bond their students for a lifetime. Have you ever heard an undergrad yell their school slogan to passing alumni at an airport? Cultural practices like these can happen between colleagues at work just the same, and they can powerfully strengthen workplace bonds.

    To institute corporate rituals takes creative thinking and full commitment over time, but once these practices become the norm, assimilating new hires becomes easier and more enjoyable using these quick queues that symbolize team connection
  1. Employees have to see themselves in the community strategy to be able to attach to it, so it’s important to get their input before solidifying specific action points. Here is how to to start:

    Gather ideas from across the company in a variety of ways like group chat, 1:1s, brainstorming sessions, etc.
    Send surveys and open-ended questions to each member of the company, onsite and remote, and entry-level to senior-level staff.
    Create focus groups that include individuals from different departments.
    – Once you have the feedback, you need to proceed and create an action committee made of individuals that represent the diverse teams in the organization.
    – Make sure the types of activity and practice are good fit for most employees to participate in.
    – Make it easy for remote workers to join in and contribute in their own way.
    – Make sure the times are agreeable for employees that are caring for children or aging adults at home.

    Want to create authentic workplace communities? You can start with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).
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  1. Platforms and technologies make including the entire team easier. TaskHuman’s mobile coaching platform is rolling out in organizations across the United States and the globe for its ability to meet employees and leaders where they are, on demand, and facilitate the growth and development that takes companies from okay to outstanding. TaskHuman can accelerate the building and adoption of team culture for healthy and thriving corporate communities with individual and team coaching sessions and training. TaskHuman’s experienced coaches use proven tools and processes that are available right away.  
  1. Top-down authenticity is a must. None of these cultural efforts will succeed without the commitment from ALL senior leaders. Employees can smell the difference between sincerity and insincerity. The best thing leaders can do to ensure team culture sticks is to cultivate real vulnerable dialogue between coworkers and across different departments.

    Leaders that carry themselves in an open and approachable manner set the tone for how others in their company should engage one another. A leader drives team connection by remaining open with their people. They show emotion (with prudence). They give honest feedback, communicating with their people about the realities of working in an uncertain market. They praise the good effort and accomplishments of the team. They share examples of their successes and especially their failures with the team for the purpose of teaching and encouraging them.

    Authentic leaders adopt the practices and rituals that their corporate community has set forth. They show up to activities and participate with enthusiasm. If this year’s future needs work to build community in your organization, make sure you’re willing to commit to the process and perhaps change as a leader and a person. 

    Where workplace community might have been a luxury in years past, today’s market demands it. TaskHuman is working with leaders and teams to bring impactful community and connection to workforces everywhere. We can help.
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