Building Community In The Workplace: Adopting A ‘Culture of Kindness’
A workplace performs best when everyone can communicate and collaborate effectively. Good workplace relationships are the backbone of any business. Without them, you can face low employee morale caused by strained relationships.
A positive workplace culture and community is crucial for both your staff’s wellbeing and business productivity. Happy employees tend to show more enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication to their company and often work harder. So it’s important that you know how to create, develop and support a well-rounded workplace community.
What is Actually Meant by ‘Workplace Culture’?
Workplace culture is the term used to describe the principles and ideology of your business. It’s the process of creating a space that supports everyone within your organisation at every level. Every employer should aim to build a workplace culture that aligns with their company values.
All healthy and positive workplace cultures have the same common traits. These include:
Recognition: Employees receive recognition for their hard work and are encouraged and rewarded when they hit goals to boost morale and encourage good performance consistently.
Equality: Everyone within the business should feel they have a voice that they are comfortable sharing with others around them.
Communication: Communication is vital for the growth of any organisation. It allows businesses to collect feedback, solve problems and improve on current practices.
Supportive policies: Employees work better when they feel valued and supported. Positive workplace policies can help retain current staff members while attracting new talent
What is A Workplace Community?
A workplace community is a vital part of a positive culture. It describes the relationships within your business and helps you measure how positive and supportive they are. A developed workplace community helps your business work more effectively. It should link different teams and departments together, allowing for better collaborative efforts.
Communities in the workplace can look different depending on your organisation’s targets, objectives and culture. But they all share common similarities such as excellent teamwork skills, transparent and open communication channels, and clearly structured hierarchy.
Building A Culture of Kindness in the Workplace
Companies are moving away from antiquated practices that made employees feel threatened or underappreciated by instead adopting a culture of kindness.
Fostering a kinder culture can be done in a number of ways. Whether through diversity and inclusion schemes, flexibility over changing working patterns, mentoring schemes or empathetic leadership, kindness can be the key to unlocking your employees’ potential.
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses in the post-pandemic era is ensuring that nobody feels isolated in the workplace. Data published by Forbes suggests that two in 10 employees feel lonely during the working day - this is exacerbated in businesses where communication is very one-sided and collaboration isn’t encouraged. This clearly isn’t the way to go.
What Are the Benefits of a Positive Workplace Community?
Building a workplace community can be beneficial for both employees and business owners. So it’s no surprise that job seekers actively search for businesses with an excellent and demonstrable record of positive workplace culture.
From attracting and retaining talent to reducing stress and boosting morale, every business should consider building or improving their current workplace community. Whether you inhabit a co-working space or manage remote workers, building a better workplace community can reduce feelings of isolation and create stronger teams.
How to Build Community in the Workplace
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to take when it comes to building community in the workplace. Many believe that it’s something that happens organically, and while that is true to a point, there are some measures that employers can put in place to improve their culture and community.
Workplace community can play a big part in overall employee engagement. So it’s important to consider the issue from the first day of employment. When a new team member joins your organisation, it’s important that they receive a cultural orientation.
This allows employees to better understand how your team works as a whole, as well as your organisation’s values and goals. Understanding this can help recruits feel comfortable in their surroundings and hit the ground running in their new role.
Invest in Employee Relationships
Employees work better when they have strong working relationships. To make the most of these benefits, workplace communities need to develop connections beyond individual teams. It’s far too easy for siloes to form, and this significantly dilutes the effectiveness of a business.
Investing in team building is a great way to encourage, support and improve strong inter-departmental relationships. By doing so you can improve employee problem-solving skills, boost workplace morale and create a happier and healthier work culture.
Encourage Feedback (But Make it Constructive!)
Businesses should be open to feedback from employees at every level. Staff comments can provide excellent first-hand insight into your business’ working practices. And employees are often happier when they know their opinions are heard and valued.
You can go about collecting this data in a number of ways. Whether you hold quarterly surveys or have a specific channel open year-round to suggestions. What’s most important is acting on this feedback and showing staff that you truly care about their opinions and want to create a workplace that works for everyone. Often, it’s a lack of clear communication that breaks the feedback loop. If actions are being taken to improve the business or address pain points identified by employees, ensure these are relayed in newsletters or regularly scheduled business update meetings.
Your employees work hard. So it’s important to show your appreciation. Verbal and written feedback or public shows of support are often appreciated.
Not only does it help staff identify the level of work you expect from them, but it also motivates them and boosts morale. When staff feel that their work is valued and appreciated they’re more likely to work harder and put in extra effort.
More and more companies are opening their eyes to the benefits of building a workplace community. But without a foundation built on support, kindness, and employee appreciation, your business may struggle to get the best from your employees.
Bruntwood can provide a space to help you build a culture that effectively supports you and your workforce. Our spaces boast a range of benefits including, wellbeing hubs, outdoor spaces and community workshop events. So whether you’re looking for a location in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham or Liverpool, we have the amenities you need. Explore the spaces and services available and find a flexible solution to your workspace needs.