Build Community to Build Success

Have you noticed how the topic of building community has become more prevalent in the wake of the lingering isolating effects of the pandemic? It’s become the antidote to the emotional burdens we’re carrying of being separated from vulnerable loved ones, the loneliness of absent colleagues, the sorely missed hugs from friends. I’m not a behavioral scientist, but my thought is that this “hangover” is contributing to rising mental health issues. After all, there’s a great deal of uncertainty about the prospects of another event that denies us face-to-face, in-the-flesh communication that is so critical for building relationships and community.

So, how does building community help us? First and foremost, as humans, our instinct is to find strength in numbers. Our health, happiness, and overall well-being are intertwined with our connections. Numerous articles tie longevity to socialization, relationships, and human-to-human contact.

Building Business Community
The growing preponderance of building community extends to the business world as leaders are realizing more and more that their organizations’ success relies on human-driven efforts. Previous conversations focused on gaining efficiencies through automation, artificial intelligence, chatbots, etc. While these technologies are important in connecting us with coworkers, stakeholders, and our communities, these same technologies, when overused, distract us from real human connection. In fact, they can actually inhibit engagement and diminish our “experience” with the people who matter most to our business.

It has become a more mainstream perspective that technology—email, digital platforms, AI, etc.—simply offers tools to be used effectively and ethically to save precious time, which can be redirected to create a sense of belonging. The results: increased engagement and connection between employees, clients, and partners; enhanced relationships that build stronger community and ultimately drive greater ROI; and retention of key employees.

Brick by Brick Planning
Building a community doesn’t magically happen. It requires an intentional, well-planned nurturing system based on in addition of an established:

  • Culture—shared sense of purpose, brand, voice, values
  • Infrastructure—support services, consistent and effective communications, recognition (of all stakeholders) for contributions that matter to the community

If you aim to help your organization build community, learn how our people-centric practices audit helps you assess your readiness.


A solid community-building plan must be anchored by a nurturing system that’s personal, repeatable, and efficient to maintain. Identify touch points and communication tactics, and tangibles that bridge stakeholders to each other as well as the company. This calendar should be updated periodically to reflect ongoing business changes and current trends.

A sense of kinship, camaraderie, and connectedness will grow as you build a thriving community. Each person has a place and a role, and members feel they can bring all of themselves to their work and their team. Trust levels soar as members feel psychologically safe, knowing others have their backs and will give them the space to apply their talents, develop new ones, and take reasonable risks.

Lead the Way
Within a strong community, people feel valued, and all work has dignity. Each member’s needs and the whole organization’s needs are fully met. Communities take care of their members and vice versa—because they are invested in the group’s collective success. As a leader, consider the following building opportunities:

  • Invest time in maintaining bonds: A University of Texas Austin study found voice calls can create stronger bonds than text messages.
  • Demonstrate compassion: The Journal of Neuroscience reported that people make better decisions when considering others.
  • Hold regular one-on-one meetings with staff members and frequent meetings with your team. Encourage team members to collaborate through challenges and obtain feedback.

I’ll close with one I credit to my father: Lead a concerted effort to accept differences, reach common ground, and find genuine worth in one another. I believe this works with any group you belong to. Setting your mind in the right direction will enrich your life experiences.

Let’s start a conversation if you’re trying to build community in your organization and looking for a partner to help you strategically. Call 800-742-6800 or email today. Sign up for our monthly newsletter for more information and tips for engaging stakeholders. You can find our newsletter sign-up at at the bottom right corner of the page.