While it may seem obvious that more motivated employees produce better work, too many workplaces still place a higher priority on keeping employees “in line” rather than cultivating a true sense of common purpose. Here are a few of the reasons why building community is a good investment for organizations of all sizes:
1. The stronger the community, the better the output
A community often evolves around a common goal. Sharing common goals and striving together towards them creates a fulfilling sense of belonging. The feeling of being a part of “something bigger” than one’s self has been shown to have a strong motivational force, especially when combined with a sense of shared ownership and empowerment.
This feeling of community spirit and sense of connection promotes engagement, which in turn leads to an increase in productivity.
2. Loneliness and isolation can seriously harm employee performance
In its 2020 Loneliness and the Workplace Report, Cigna sheds light on the “costs of loneliness”:
- Missed working days: Lonely workers are twice as likely to miss a day at work when feeling sick.
- Lower productivity: Lonely workers are less likely to report high productivity.
- Lower quality of work: Lonely workers are less likely to be satisfied with their quality of work and rather prone to believe it is lower than it should be.
- Higher risk of turnover: Lonely workers report thinking about quitting the job twice as often.
The Cigna study reports a direct correlation between loneliness levels and workplace relationships and shows that employees reporting a lack of good relationships with their coworkers are 10 points lonelier than those who report the opposite.
3. Checking in against checking out
A recent EY Belonging Barometer study sheds light on the importance of colleague interactions and regular check-ins:
“39% of respondents say that when colleagues check in with them about how they are doing, both personally and professionally, they feel the greatest sense of belonging at work, ahead of receiving feedback (31%)”
The third most important action boosting a sense of belonging at work, following regular check-ins and receiving feedback is public recognition (23%).