If you think about your life – who has helped you get to where you are today? It’s probably your family, friends, work colleagues and managers: the people that surround you. We use and rely on our community more than we realise and the festive season is the perfect time to reflect on how important they are.
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.
Our workplace community tends to grow organically. We start our employment as the new person whose only existing relationship is with our hiring manager. Soon, we’ve been introduced to our immediate team members and start chatting to colleagues within the office, or at meetings or a training course.
Some of us might choose to stop there, whereas some make a conscious effort to grow their community and build stronger relationships at work with people not within their immediate circle of colleagues: other departments, suppliers, contractors, clients, other sites and teams, as well as the wider company and other industry circles.
Networking and nurturing good working relationships is crucial for both our business objectives as well as our personal goals. You never know when you might need to call upon your community to support you and your team.
If networking isn’t your strong suit, the festive period is a perfect opportunity to build this community. Here are just some ideas to get you started:
- Introduce yourself to a colleague that you’ve not spoken to before.
- Get to know the other people in your building, suppliers and other departments. Take time out to get to know them on a personal level too – ask about hobbies, interests, and skills.
- Spread your knowledge and encourage someone else. One of the best ways to learn is from each other.
- Organise and attend social events. This can be great fun, helps build morale, and assists with team bonding – it’s Christmas after all!
- Look at other ways to contribute to your wider community such as volunteering for charity initiatives or getting involved with a charity in your area.
It doesn’t 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!
Stephen Ritchie is learning and development advisor for Mitie Client Services