How building an online community can improve employee satisfaction

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How building an online community can improve employee satisfaction

While many people no longer physically work alongside their colleagues, or at least a lot less than they used to, the need to feel part of a community and connected to team members hasn’t gone away. In fact, community and connection at work are even more important in our digital world and greatly impact employee satisfaction.

In the wake of the pandemic and workplace arrangements shifting, companies have naturally turned to technology to build online communities that combat the isolation and detachment that comes with the territory of working remote. Let’s take a look at why this is important and its impact on employee satisfaction.

What’s the purpose of an online community?

Employees want to feel part of a team and connected to their colleagues. It’s a natural human desire. Positive interactions and strong relationships at work contribute to good well-being, which impacts how individuals feel about work. Therefore, having an online community gives employees the valuable opportunity to interact and connect with their colleagues and, crucially, feel part of a team. The camaraderie and unity that comes with being part of an online community give employees a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment at work which helps improve their satisfaction as a whole.

Why is employee satisfaction important?

Employee satisfaction relates to how much individuals like their job, but it’s not the same as employee engagement. If an employee is satisfied with their job, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re engaged. Employees can feel happy at work and enjoy what they do, but they may not have that extra level of drive and commitment to go the extra mile and elevate the business to new heights. Having said that, companies are certainly more likely to have high levels of engagement if their employees are satisfied. As a result, achieving high levels of employee satisfaction should be a priority for any business wanting to build an engaged workforce.

Three ways an online community improves employee satisfaction

  1. Increase connection to work

Having an online space where team members can interact with one another and see what’s going on in other business areas will really help strengthen their connection to their work. By encouraging frequent business-wide interaction and communication between colleagues, you’ll help to ensure that everyone is working in unity towards common objectives, that they feel valued and have visibility regarding how their individual role positively impacts organisational success. On top of this, by creating an interactive space online for team members to connect, you’ll encourage them to build and maintain meaningful relationships within the business and, in turn, forge a strong employee network. All of these factors will provide individuals with an emotional connection to the business and their job. That sense of connection is integral to building a satisfied workforce and an engaged one.

Using our interactive social wall feature, employees are encouraged to share both personal and professional updates with their peers. For example, they can share photos of the activities they get up to at the weekend as well as the latest projects they’ve been working on. The combination of work-related updates and more informal, personal posts helps to mimic office culture, combat the all-too-often transactional nature of remote work and drive that sense of community and teamwork.

  1. Reduces the feeling of isolation

Whether working part-time or full-time from home, remote employees are more likely to feel isolated and detached because they naturally have less opportunities to socialise with their colleagues. Due to the nature of remote work, interactions between colleagues can become impersonal when filtering through digital means. Casual chats and banter often unintentionally slip away, and conversations can become robotic and to-the-point.

With an online platform and community readily available, employees can freely interact with colleagues whenever they want to and tap into the business’ culture that can often get lost when not in a physical workplace. This will have a huge impact on employees’ social wellbeing, connection and sense of belonging – all of which are critical to a satisfied workforce.

  1. Improves wellbeing

As most of us spend more time at work than doing any other activity, an individual’s sense of belonging and connectivity within their job will have a huge impact on their social wellbeing and, in turn, their overall wellbeing. It’s therefore essential that businesses utilise the workplace, whether in-person or online, as a hub for social contact and give employees regular opportunities to socialise and connect with their colleagues – especially if they don’t see each other as frequently face-to-face.

Having an online community centred around an easy-to-access platform means that team members can tap into it wherever they are and boost their social well-being. Communities also act as support systems, so whether an employee is having an issue with a specific project or needs help from a team member, the online community is there to provide answers and give them the support they need.

Final thoughts

To summarise, feeling like part of a community and connected to fellow team members can hugely impact employee satisfaction and has become crucial in the digital world of work. An online platform where businesses can build a virtual community, regardless of where team members are working, can be a valuable tool for connecting teams to shared goals, building relationships and helping to ensure business-wide employee satisfaction.

Read next: Five ways to help your remote employees maintain a healthy work/life balance.

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