Building a community

Steve RitchieIf you think about your life, who has helped you get where you are today? It’s probably your family, friends, work colleagues, managers: the people that surround you. We use and rely on our community more than we realise.

This week’s blog is inspired by this idea and how, by building networks – a community – of people at work we can make our life more enjoyable, and generally easier.

Fundamentally, a powerful community is about strong relationships: a group of people coming together to create a unit. It’s also about understanding that everyone has something to offer and they are worthwhile to the team and its future.

What can we all do to improve and develop a strong workplace community?

In the same way that you may have had someone in your life that saw potential in you and encouraged it or someone that seemed to do more for you than you expected, you may also need to do more for others and nurture relationships in order for them to become part of a meaningful community. So here are some ideas and suggestions:

  • Introduce yourself to a colleague that you have not spoken to before
  • Get to know the other people in your building, suppliers and other departments; even if you don’t interact with them every day. Find out more them and their jobs, exchange best practice, and collaborate where possible because you never know how helpful it could be until you try it!
  • Offer your services as a training buddy for a new starter. Spread your knowledge and encourage someone else
  • Volunteer to do small tasks that maybe don’t have an owner, there are hundreds of examples in each workplace environment – from checking stationery levels to stocking up on biscuits
  • Organise social events within your team. This can be great fun, helps build morale, and assists with team bonding
  • Look at other ways to contribute to your wider community, such as volunteering for charity initiatives in the company or getting involved with a charity in your area.

It does not cost anything just to share a thought, say hello, or to care for someone else. Don’t forget to have fun, smile lots and build your community to be the best around!

By Stephen Ritchie, learning and development advisor for Mitie’s Client Services.

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