As a startup leader, give your best tip for rekindling a sense of community at your workplace?
To help you best rekindle a sense of community at your startup, we asked startup founders and business owners this question for their best ideas. From creating an easy atmosphere for everyone to contribute to doing a monthly goal check-in mixed with sharing gratitude, there are several ways to get your team to connect with each other and cultivate a sense of community in the workplace.
Here are 13 ways these leaders rekindle a sense of community at their startups:
- Create an Easy Atmosphere for Everyone to Contribute
- Host Monthly Remote Lunch for Your Staff
- Implement a Weekly Ritual of Humor by Sending Out a Fun Video or Picture
- Create a Space for Staff to Engage With Each Other
- Carry Out Regular Check-ins to Make Everyone Feel Supported
- Host Regular Events to Boost Camaraderie
- Volunteer Together to Bond as a Group
- Work as a Goal-Oriented Supportive Team
- Create Meaningful Moments for Each and All to Enjoy
- Host an Event or Have a Party
- Provide Chances for Employees to Learn From Each Other
- Eat Together as a Team
- Do a Monthly Goal Check-in Mixed With Sharing Gratitude
Create an Easy Atmosphere for Everyone to Contribute
We have a fully remote team. So our communication is almost exclusively async. But one thing we’ve introduced is the “Random” Slack channel, where each week everyone posts a pic from their camera roll from the week before, with a little narrative to go with it.
It’s a simple (but effective) way to learn more about everyone and get a peek into their daily lives. It doesn’t take too much effort. No one has to get “zoom ready.” And it’s easy to contribute (as almost everyone takes at least one photo a week!)
Brian Casel, ZipMessage
Host Monthly Remote Lunch for Your Staff
It is important to remember that not every community-building effort needs to be structured or time-intensive. As a remote workplace, one of our most successful community-building campaigns has been hosting a regular remote monthly lunch for our staff. This event is optional, but employees who show up get a $25 meal credit. Team members can order takeout, relax, come face-to-face with coworkers, and get to know each other better. Because this is a casual hangout with no set agenda, there is no pressure to perform, unlike in our more structured socials like virtual trivia. Teammates can simply be themselves, connect casually with coworkers, and have interaction beyond the normal work routine. This regular meetup has done wonders for building community and camaraderie in our online office.
Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
Implement a Weekly Ritual of Humor by Sending Out a Fun Video or Picture
Community is about people coming together for a shared purpose. At our remote startup, we found that our sense of community was dwindling as the team was working in silos and not getting to know each other better. To rekindle the community feeling, we implemented a weekly ritual called “Friday Funnies.” Each Friday, we send out a fun video or picture to put a smile on everyone’s face and get them talking to each other. We also make it a point to publicly recognize employees for their contributions to the community and the overall team vibe.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase Tool
Create a Space for Staff to Engage With Each Other
Bringing a sense of community to the workplace through finding methods to have employees engage with each other to foster connections. One example would be to create a space for employees to put content, such as an online channel or work message board. Creating a place where staff can be themselves through sharing experiences collectively, encourages genuine connection through the company.
Chris Coote, California Honey Vapes
Carry Out Regular Check-ins to Make Everyone Feel Supported
As a startup leader, I think it’s really important to take time to celebrate the wins. To get everyone on the same page, it’s important to set up regular check-ins where you can go over what everyone is working on and make sure that everyone is feeling supported in their roles. This will help your team feel like they’re part of a bigger vision and not just cogs in a machine. This is also a great opportunity for you as a leader to provide feedback and guidance on how to best approach projects or problems that come up.
Ishu Singh, Starting to know
Host Regular Events to Boost Camaraderie
Rekindling a sense of community at your workplace can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. My number one tip? Host regular events. Events & team building activities can help bring your employees together and help them develop a stronger sense of camaraderie. It also gives them a chance to get to know each other better outside of the work environment. Hosting regular events at your workplace can give your employees something to look forward to and can help bring everyone together. These events don’t have to be anything major – they can be as simple as team happy hours or planned lunch events.
Curran Van Waarde, CallScaler
Volunteer Together to Bond as a Group
Engaging in an off-site volunteer activity reminds the team of what we’re striving to achieve. As a mission-driven company, purpose comes first. For this reason, it’s vital to escape the daily grind, roll our sleeves up, and engage in a transformational volunteer experience. Volunteers make an incredible impact on the organizations they work with. And coming together around a positive cause boosts moods and decreases stress. It’s an excellent way to reconnect with team members outside of the office and reignite the fire in our collective belly.
Maria Shriver, MOSH
Work as a Goal-Oriented Supportive Team
As a mission-driven company, we’ve built a sense of community by striving to make radical changes for our customers and the world. For example, not only do our products meet an unmet demand for aging women worldwide, but the way we conduct business is also different. We are a company built and run by female founders of the LGBT community; our creative team is 100% women-led, and we hire with diversity in mind – including employing mothers! In everything we do, we do it for the greater good, and that brings us together as coworkers and humans.
Alexandra Fennell, Attn: Grace
Create Meaningful Moments for Each and All to Enjoy
Having helped hundreds of distributed teams and thousands of remote individuals find a sense of community, we learned that it’s all about making meaningful moments. That means making something more magical than just a mundane coffee morning, or post-work drinks, but something people can continue to engage with. Think about how you facilitate a follow-up when reviewing the pics of who was chatting and hanging out, ask people to share their passions in a lunch and learn, pick supporting tools that go above and beyond core desk booking functionality. Be fun, creative and characterful and be amazed and how people engage.
Benjamin Carew, Othership
Host an Event or Have a Party
Host an event. If it’s been a long time since your team has been together in-person, then keeping all interactions tied up with their work hours isn’t going to cut it. Startups are busy environments where the workload is often tense, and this leaves little room for community. The best way to rebuild a camaraderie between your employees is to give them an off-duty opportunity to connect. By making the environment low-stakes and all about enjoyment, you encourage the types of off-topic conversations that create a report between workers.
Rachel Reid, Subtl Beauty
Provide Chances for Employees to Learn From Each Other
You can nurture a sense of community by creating chances for employees to learn from each other. Creating events is another way to bring your employees together. Nothing like memorable events outside of work can bring people together and create opportunities to meet and get to really know each other. Cooking and eating together is more than just a way to bring people together. Research shows that eating together improves job performance as well.
laurice constantine, Casadar
Eat Together as a Team
It’s hard to beat food and mealtimes together as a bonding ritual. You can be more creative; make breakfast or lunch on Monday, then two lunches through Friday. Or, juice together, toast, and drink before a brainstorming session where everyone can see each other. Prepping meals for and alongside colleagues not only feels good, but it’s also an expression of care for one another. To foster closeness and engagement, you’ll want remote staff to participate at least once each week if that’s possible.
Jon Torres, Jon Torres
Do a Monthly Goal Check-in Mixed With Sharing Gratitude
We work to make sure that along with feedback, gratitude is included in our team meetings and 1:1s. In our last monthly goal check-in meeting we answered:
What are you proud of yourself for in the past month?
What are you grateful for that each team member did for you/the team this past month?
What’s something you’re looking forward to in the future at Lucky Sweater/with the team?
Carley Lake, Lucky Sweater