This is an extract from one of the Management Book of the Year 2022 shortlisters, all full of expert guidance and innovative ideasMeet the rest here
The world is a crowded place; as businesses grow, what begins as a community of ten employees may become a legion of 200 or 20,000. The building I was working in had around 20,000 people coming in and out every day. That’s thousands of employees, many of whom will never even meet each other. How can we maintain a sense of community in a workforce that multiplies exponentially? How can we carry this through to a flexible working model?
This is a consistent challenge that many business leaders face as we shift to greater flexible working. And no wonder – being part of a strong community makes us happier and keeps us healthy, both physically and mentally. Happy and healthy employees are more productive, more emotionally fulfilled and less likely to leave a company.
So how do we ensure we’re connected with our colleagues and feel part of a strong work community?
Well, one idea is to make it someone’s job – there have been calls for companies to start hiring community managers, and some are listening. To think, we appoint a head of product, finance and marketing quite freely, but don’t extend the same effort to a role which cares for the people doing those jobs. It seems archaic. The Mom Project, a platform which links mothers looking to get back into work with job opportunities, hired a community manager responsible for growing the talent pool and boosting engagement. So far, it looks like it’s been beneficial to the business and employee wellbeing.
Watch this: Elizabeth Uviebinené in conversation with Ann Francke
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