All communities need a way to communicate with each other. Whether through verbal communication, or online messaging, communication is at the core of the company and what drives us to work efficiently together. And with more and more people working from home, online communication has become a vital part of how we keep in touch, and the tools that let us contact each other can either enable or limit community growth.
Try to find services that work for you and your team focusing on the following three ideas:
• To communicate seamlessly: Use services that allow you to send timely messages to your team (ex. Slack, Monday). Here at Wantedly, we use Slack to give quick feedback to our coworkers. We tag our fellow coworkers when they act according to our values and commend their work with a short message (ex. @Bob Great work! #movefast)!
• To keep track of tasks: It’s easy to lose track of tasks. Use services that let you visualize the main goal from a larger perspective, while also making it simple to track your own and your team’s day-to-day tasks. (ex. Asana, Trello)
Traditions to represent your team
Just having efficient communication doesn’t make a great team. Communities are built upon rituals, traditions. These don't have to be formal, even memes or inside jokes can be part of your company's traditions! Team traditions are often overlooked but they are just as essential to establishing trust with your team, and building a sense of a shared community.
Some traditions or rituals that you can introduce to your team include:
• Team building events: Game night, Pizza parties, Taco Tuesdays...Having a special occasion unique to your organization can help each member feel like a part of the team and gives an opportunity for everyone to connect outside of work talk.
• Holiday traditions: Celebrate holidays not only with your families but with your team as well! In organizations that have international teams, you can take advantage of the holidays to learn more about festivities around the world and about the cultural backgrounds of your teammates!
• Shared Libraries: Encourage learning and exploring within your organization by setting up a company library. Employees can add or borrow books whenever they please, you can even leave memos for recommendations or as a log of who’s read the book so far!
• Custom emojis, hand signs, etc.: Company logos/company signs, though small, are a strong symbol of company identity. Let teammates know they’re an important part of the team by offering custom company ware! And let each member contribute to building your company culture by creating company custom emojis, slogans, etc.
Although the effect 3 may seem minimal at first glance, these traditions are pieces that give your company it’s identity. Not only that but team events encourage members to work together, creating an environment that promotes creativity and innovation. Many times these shared experiences are what create the strongest bonds and bring the team together with a strong sense of belonging to the community.
Maintaining a community
Maintaining a community requires two-way communication between managers and employees. How do you keep your community/employees engaged in the long-term? Here are some key actions you can take:
• HR management tools: Streamline processes and save time not just for your HR department but for all employees. Services such as those provided by Talenox can make all your needed information easy to access while providing security to protect your employees. In just one click, your HR team can approve annual leave requests and record salaries, leaving no room for clutter!
• 1on1 meetings: 1on1 meetings are important for providing feedback and assigning individual responsibilities. Make sure to not only log your 1on1 notes but also track your personal development alongside the company’s progress.
• Performance review: Reviews give managers and employees an opportunity to reflect on progress made and identify what needs to be improved on until the next review.
• Pulse checks: Check up on your employees regularly with pulse surveys. Make sure to ask questions that are related to your objectives, and keep the questions short and sweet.
It can be disheartening if employees feel as if they’re talking to a wall. It’s important to maintain open lines of communication between management and employees to provide a positive and motivating working environment.
Though building a strong sense of community takes time and hard work, it is absolutely necessary to create a workplace where all employees feel welcome and valued. People are at the core of any organization, and each individual should feel like an essential part of your shared mission.