A Positive Sense of Community

A Positive Sense of Community

This week, Don Shilling shares the importance of building a positive sense of community.

I know all of us have watched reports in the media or thumbed through articles in periodicals about the wonderful employee benefits some of High-Tech companies provide their workforce. Perks that are used to attract talented people and keep them occupied while at work. The lavish gourmet cafeteria’s, coffee kiosks or fully equipped gyms within the walls of their facilities. Under our breath as read view these perks, we probably exclaim . . .. “How in the world do we compete with that?”

Your organization may be like our company; our environment is such that we just do not have the physical space to offer those kind of amenities as it seems all our facilities are limited to providing services for customers or work environments to efficiently produce and administer the delivery of our goods and services.

Our employees however are just as important to our success as the High-Tech companies’ employees are to their operation. So, the burning question is, what are we doing to attract and retain our employees given the limitations both physically and environmentally of our industry?

We must be employee focused! This focus can be done without adding square footage to our facilities.

Do each of your employees feel they are appreciated? Are they given opportunities for training, job recognition, offered consistent and timely delivery of benefits and real opportunities for advancement? Have you created a culture of shared knowledge of the business and demonstrated caring and compassion during times of personal crisis?

These are all valid questions that require your own personal reflection. Appreciation can start by simply sharing information with employees. Some companies use a Balanced Scorecard approach while others are deep in other management tools like EOS Traction where all personnel regularly hear the company focus, goals and implementation steps required. During the sharing of this information these are golden opportunities to recognize departments and individuals who have contributed to the success. These meetings should be positive events with plenty of sharing of knowledge and open discussion.

We must focus on the individuals. Ways of doing that may include sharing company logo’ d apparel so all can identify with the business, company newsletters distributed weekly used to recognize special things like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and especially examples individual accomplishment of outstanding company values. (Not just the “big deal” you were awarded, but the small extra efforts made by individuals furthering the company’s efforts)

Our company has also found positive success if we get personally involved in employees after work activities such as helping to sponsor the employee in things ranging from sporting events or teams, charity events, hobbies or personal interest activity and other activities that may include the employee or other family members like their children or spouse. By sponsoring an employee, we ask for photos or shared results of those activities so that activity can be shared in the company newsletter for all to see.

Recognizing milestones of each employee, breaking bread in picnic’s, grill outs or appreciation dinners. Stopping all work for an Ice Cream Break or treating all employees to an entertainment venue can contribute to the relationship we have with one another and bring participants closer together.

Creating this sense of Community is the key element we as smaller business entities need to do to attract and maintain the family values. This becomes the glue that holds us all together. When your employees make a point of bragging about the company, they work for . . . it is generally the customer and a potential future employee that are listening!!

For classes on this subject, please click here.
For more blogs, please click here.