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Building your Community Stronger...Get Connected!

Written By: Renie Cavallari
Most people like to feel connected. This is why they spend so much time hanging out at the “water cooler” or sending jokes and chain letters over email. In today’s world, creating a sense of connection for your employees allows you to build community/corporate alignment.

Over the years, I have worked with thousands of businesses both large and small. The one constant among those who are not reaching their goals, shareholder expectations or having a good time, is a lack of connection between their people. This disconnect impacts their ability to align together, which is vital to their success.

At its core, connection is a feeling of trust. A sense of knowing that you can count on another person, a feeling of emotion. Now I know that many of you are thinking there is no room in business for emotion. The fact is, the opposite is true. You want people in your community and on your team to have emotion. Emotion is a major part of passion, which I define as the combustion of energy, focus and emotion.

People are emotional beings first. This is the human part of the being, so to speak. When we are actively working, we become human “doings.” And though the work is important, when your people work from a space of emotion, they work from their heart. Good things happen from the heart. Your employees will take care of one another. They will find ways to take care of your customers better and they will take care of you too!

As a leader of a dynamic community, you want to get your people connected. Get them talking about how their work intersects. Get them out having some fun. You would be surprised what a little karaoke can do over lunch. Laughter is another form of connection, as is celebration.

If you ask your people, most of them will tell you that they want more fun and celebration in their lives, yet most people wait for someone else to drive the “fun factor.” Celebration becomes a bus they hope arrives at their bus stop, but of course, it never does.

Great leaders, managers and coaches understand that they have to help create good times. Celebration is one of them. Celebration allows people to be recognized in both casual and formal ways. Celebration allows them to connect with you as a leader through your recognition. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Sometimes it is as easy as an email to a team recognizing their individual and group performance. Or a small thoughtful gift. Or some good laughs over lunch.

Connection builds camaraderie, which comes in darn handy when the tricky times in business come around. People will follow those who make them feel important, connected and offer them a sense of belonging. Leaders understand that to inspire their people, they must help them feel connected to the organization, the people and to the purpose at large.

So next time you see some emotion in your people, know that you have people who care and who are connected to something they believe in.

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