Companies are facing a complex challenge: ensuring the engagement, retention, and wellbeing of their employees. With employee expectations shifting at a rapid pace, traditional approaches like perks, individual benefits, and surveys are falling short. The need for a fresh perspective has never been greater. Enter communities at work, a strategic avenue that holds the promise of solving these interconnected challenges. But here's the catch – understanding the true power and benefits of communities can be elusive without firsthand experience.
The Birth of a Solution
We were invited by Htag to an exclusive gathering of 130 Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) for their two-day Summer Campus 2023 event. The central theme? Establishing communities at work as the answer to the collective needs of organizations. The event organizers had a clear mission: to offer CHROs an immersive experience in the world of communities, allowing them to witness its transformative impact from the inside out. The ultimate goal? To reveal how communities not only enhance an individual employee's journey but also shape the collective experience of the entire organization.
Introducing the Workshop
In response to this challenge, our team crafted a three-hour workshop that would leave a lasting impression on the participants. Days before the event, we sent out a short survey, allowing attendees to select their areas of interest. This information helped us identify potential moderators who would guide each community's creation process.
On the day of the workshop, our team showcased examples of highly successful communities, revealing their structures, operating methods, annual agendas, and visionary goals. Then, moderators and participants gathered in separate rooms to collaboratively design their chosen communities. Armed with a Community Building Playbook to facilitate trust-building and structure discussions, attendees were empowered to create their own communities. They formulated their purposes, agendas, key performance indicators, and rules, forging bonds that would prove invaluable.
To share each community's unique journey, we organized a panel featuring representatives from each group. This panel shed light not only on the creative process itself but also on the most innovative, ambitious, and surprising ideas that emerged during the co-design session.
The results of this workshop were nothing short of remarkable. A total of nine diverse communities sprang to life, ranging from "Zen at Work" (Yoga & Meditation) to "Runners," "Women in Leadership," "Wine Lovers," and "Managing Stress at Work." The workshop's impact extended far beyond the initial gathering.
One community decided to meet again immediately, driven by the sense of connection and purpose they had found. Another is actively working on its formation. This workshop exceeded its goals and provided a tantalizing glimpse of what community-building could look like within organizations.
Insights, Innovation, and Research
Over the course of the two-day conference, we gained invaluable insights into how companies are harnessing the potential of communities at work. These revelations came to light through extensive research conducted on European HR executives, revealing the desires and aspirations of those driving organizational change.
Our findings paint a vivid picture:
- Trust in Colleagues and Leadership: An overwhelming 85% of European HR executives expressed a strong desire for an environment built on trust. They understand that trust is the cornerstone of effective collaboration and innovation, forming the bedrock of a successful organization.
- A Culture of Innovation, Creativity, and Leadership: Nearly half of the surveyed executives, precisely 49%, emphasized the importance of fostering a culture that not only invites but also celebrates innovation, creativity, and leadership. Communities at work are recognized as catalysts for igniting these essential sparks of ingenuity.
- Belonging and Organizational Pride: A significant 47% of respondents emphasized the importance of a deep sense of belonging and pride in their organizations. Communities, we discovered, play a pivotal role in nurturing this sense of connection and loyalty among employees.
- Learning and Development Opportunities: Finally, 40% of HR executives highlighted their eagerness for learning and development opportunities within their organizations. As we've observed, communities serve as the catalyst for ongoing growth and skill enhancement.
These statistics underline the profound impact that communities at work can have on addressing the evolving needs of today's workforce. They confirm what we experienced firsthand at Summer Campus 2023: the recognition that communities are not just a trend but an essential strategy for fostering trust, innovation, belonging, and personal development within organizations.
A Mosaic of Communities at Work
Summer Campus 2023 showcased how companies across multiple industries and sectors are harnessing communities at work. From Communities of Practices to Diversity and Inclusion groups and even social/entertainment communities, the possibilities were limitless. We also discovered the importance of champions and sponsors, as well as the pride employees feel in working for innovative organizations.
Moreover, on an academic front, it's heartening to note that leading management schools are acknowledging the significance of communities at work. The emergence of "management by communities" in their curricula signals the growing recognition of communities as a transformative force within modern organizations.
What we learned reaffirms the importance of embracing communities at work as a strategic imperative. They highlight the role of communities in shaping not only individual employee experiences but also the collective culture and success of organizations. As we continue to explore the potential of communities at work, we're poised to unlock even greater opportunities for innovation, growth, and collaboration in the evolving world of business.
The MixR Advantage
Amidst this thriving landscape of communities at work, there emerges a valuable partner: MixR. Why is MixR the right choice for your organization's communities? The answer is simple – MixR is your community at work one-stop shop.
We make it easy to design, implement, and scale communities at work. Our passion for communities at work is unrivaled, and it's our exclusive focus. At MixR, we possess the knowledge to create, organize, and measure your communities. With MixR by your side, communities cease to be a vague concept; they become a measurable asset. They evolve into an essential element of your organization's culture, offering a unique and indispensable solution to address the challenges posed by evolving employee expectations and the ever-accelerating pace of change.
Our experience and expertise make us your ultimate partner in unlocking the full potential of communities at work. We understand that for organizations to succeed in launching and developing communities, a combination of factors is essential: the right vision, the right strategy, the right internal champions, the right partners, and the right tools. MixR delivers on all these fronts, ensuring that your communities thrive and drive positive change within your organization.
The Big Takeaway
The success of our Summer Campus 2023 workshop serves as a testament to the transformative power of communities at work. It demonstrates that when organizations embrace the concept of communities and partner with experts like MixR, they can create a more engaged, retained, and fulfilled workforce. The workshop not only ignited a spark within the participants, but also lit the way for organizations to envision the profound impact of communities at work within their own ranks. So, if you're looking for a partner to lead the charge in your journey toward thriving communities at work, look no further than MixR – the catalyst for your success.