Nurture Your Workplace Community


October is workplace wellness month! With that in mind, Engaged has been pondering the many aspects that contribute to workplace wellness, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual facets of our individual wellness. We’re looking forward to diving into those topics over the course of the month. But holistic wellness goes beyond our health as individuals – it’s also about our relationships, personal and professional.

We are kicking off workplace wellness month by looking at the health of our work communities! Identifying ways in which we can cultivate a positive work environment starts with an honest examination of our working relationships. It’s easy to feel like the goal of working is to get the job done as efficiently as possible and go home, but that’s not the whole story. Nurturing work relationships can increase productivity, improve morale, and encourage more effective collaboration.

Here are 6 tips to nurture your workplace community:

1. Make the Time – Initiate community-building activities at work on a weekly or biweekly basis. Regular team-building and morale-boosting activities are a great opportunity to conduct temperature checks and solicit feedback from employees, and can encourage more candid input than workplace surveys or more formal reviews.

For other work friendly team-building activities Click here.

2. Take It Online – Create an online forum for employees to connect. An informal forum can also serve as a great place to brainstorm and share ideas, upping your creativity quotient. Keeping up to date with technological advances has the added bonus of helping with retention of tech-savvy millennials.

3. Connect Over Food – Organize workplace lunch potlucks once a month, and encourage everyone to bring a favourite dish to share. Sit next to someone new – assign lunch seating randomly by having people pick numbers from a hat and sit in the corresponding chair.

4. Schedule Interdepartmental Tag-Alongs – Have team members book an hour to shadow a colleague in another department. People are curious about what their coworkers do! Not only does this satisfy that curiosity, but fostering a holistic understanding of the organization can enhance cooperation between departments.

5. Lunch and Learn – Invite experts on a variety of topics to deliver monthly short talks on different subjects, followed by an opportunity for discussion and hands-on learning. Host a mini yoga session! Learn how to knit! Have a cooking demo! Create an occasion for employees to connect over something other than work. Start each lunch and learn with a short icebreaker to get everyone involved and relaxed.

6. Use Your Words– Perhaps most importantly, feed workplace wellness by being a force for good in your workplace! Commit to nurturing a healthy workplace by encouraging and supporting healthy communication. Get into the habit of speaking positively about and to your coworkers, and choose to refrain from contributing to workplace gossip. Particularly during periods of high stress, a kind word from someone you work with (or overhearing someone speak kindly of you!) can be an enormous morale booster.

Your Engaged Assignment: Who do you spend time with at work? Do you tend to socialize only with colleagues you work with directly? Get outside your comfort zone and start to build your work community beyond your department! Is there a co-worker you see in the halls but never speak to? Do you run into the same person every day in the break room? Say “hello” and open a dialogue – you might be surprised at what you have in common!

We’d love to hear from you, too! Leave a comment below and tell us: what is one thing that you do inside of your organization to promote health and wellness?