How a Strong Community Gives Employees Something to Believe In
With employees working from anywhere and everywhere, it can be tough to ensure that workers are all “on the same page.” Flexible work options have filled employees with confidence and increased their productivity levels. But what else can be done to engage them and keep employees happy and productive?
When employees have a strong workplace community, they feel like they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Community is tied to having a sense of purpose around work — and one study explored the correlation between purpose and effort. Simply put, people who had the chance to reflect on a challenging task before attempting it found the task took less effort than others who hadn’t been given that chance to reflect.
The Importance of Communicating Purpose and Vision
To take advantage of purpose and community, workers must first know exactly what they’re striving for. Your company’s mission and values cannot be merely a motto on a plaque somewhere. Leaders must incorporate values messaging in their company wide-communications and clearly communicate to employees what the mission is. Employees can’t get on board if they don’t know what the mission is.
This is where technology comes in. Technology is a crucial part of the digital workplace — these days in particular with the rise of the hybrid workplace. With more employees working off site than ever before, leaders must push messaging to employees no matter where they are. Technology tools can help. According to recent Reworked survey research, digital workplace technologies around community and social platforms are considered very/somewhat important by 92% of survey respondents.
But current tools aren’t always optimized. Only 42% say their group chat/team collaboration tools are working well, while 44% call them satisfactory. Tools for communicating to employees both on and off site have leadership buy-in, but more work is needed to optimize what leaders currently use. Thankfully, companies are leaning into technology by adopting a number of different channels (video, internal social media, chat), which ensures employees get the message around company mission and values and help them find purpose.
Related: 4 Ways to Create a Realistic and Engaging Hybrid Work Strategy
Delivering Persistent Messaging
Much like the mission statement can’t be relegated to a plaque, messaging around the mission can’t be a one-and-done affair. Helping employees discover purpose and developing a strong workplace community relies on persistent and pervasive messaging. Culture comes from the top down; leaders must be aware of how their messaging affects the workplace community.
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As leaders develop a communications strategy, they shouldn’t neglect the things that workers value the most these days, specifically flexibility and autonomy in their work. Many workers have embraced the hybrid work model and want leaders to trust the work can and will get done no matter where employees are. Messaging needs to be omnichannel, available in the employees’ communications channel of choice and accessible anytime from anywhere. Respecting employees’ desires for flexibility and autonomy will go a long way toward building a strong workplace community.
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Technology for the Office You Have, Optimized for the Office You Want
The communications strategy that incorporates your digital workplace won’t be the same as the company’s down the hall — nor should it. Processes enabling your communications strategy should be unique, while technology should enable your organization to customize in ways that fit your culture. There’s no one-size-fitss-all approach to how technology can build a strong workplace community. Rather, it’s up to you to measure how your employees use technology and optimize that technology accordingly.
We all want something to believe in, whether personally or professionally. In this age of disruption, leaders have an opportunity to clearly communicate the message and give employees something to believe in. Getting mission and values in front of employees through consistent communication accessible from anywhere employees are will help develop their sense of purpose and get all the rowers in the proverbial boat rowing in the same direction.
Learn how to create a realistic and engaging hybrid work strategy, questions you need to ask when getting started, and three important considerations for evaluating your approach in this e-book: Creating a Realistic Hybrid Work Strategy Ebook.
About the Author
Tim is the senior manager of research and content for Simpler Media Group. In his role he writes content, market guides and data-driven research reports for all of SMG’s internal and external clients.