Destination: Corporate Communities

Are we there yet?

To many most, the combination of the words workplace and community simply do not jive. But☝🏽 in a lot of companies, nurturing a business culture through a more dynamic sense of community is finally (finally!) becoming a top priority. Recognition to make it onto a best companies to work for list has never been more appealing. After all, blossoming into a desirable place to work builds an attractive case for being a desirable company to work with.

Now I know what you're thinking...

We all can't be Google. There's no place for tandem bicycles in our workplace!

That's not exactly what I meant. So hold your horses and just have a look at this survey by Great Place to Work:

Put yourself in the shoes of one of your staff members and imagine how they would respond to these questions. Better yet, just do the quiz and answer honestly as yourself. What do your employees want to see from their employers? Is it a sense of community? Clearer, more genuine communication channels between leadership and teams (aka transparency)? Could you use more organized workflows or structured objectives that encourage growth? The result page of this quiz is like a delightful professional horoscope that sums up the quiz-taker's persona from a career perspective.

Take the quiz and come back to this post. I'll wait. ⌛️

How'd it go? Did it feel like a light was hung in something brand new about the needs of your employees? A theme that emerges from these questions, at least to me, is that thoughtful working lives require some level of social connectivity from its leadership.

"Community means caring about our work, our colleagues, and our place in the world"
Henry Mintzberg, Rebuilding Companies as Communities - Harvard Business Review

For many of us, the physical workplace is where we spend most of our time. Creating the safe and brave spaces for empathy as much as strategy and effort to emerge starts with developing understanding. Driving professional and meaningful engagement between members, leadership and teams is key.

Understanding starts with asking questions.

How can we innovate better, together?
Does everyone feel comfortable and visible? Are ideas heard and discussed?
How do leadership and collaboration intersect?
Do all the teams have access to one another and management?

Whether in the board room or on a shared digital space, a healthy company culture operates like a community and should promote trust. A KPI of a positive company culture is when the team members take it upon themselves to advocate for the organization socially and professionally through their channels and networks. That's when you know you've transformed the employee experience.