There is a breath of fresh air in the new decade, though. It embodies the world of community at work. It doesn’t pit employees against each other. It doesn’t set up an “enemy” in the form of the competitors, other staff members, or even the boss. It involves openness and sharing from top to bottom. Mankind has always wanted to belong to a group. Acceptance, affirmation and approval are the motivating factors. Competition doesn’t always appeal to every member on the corporate ladder. Some people are proud to do their jobs and contribute with only the acceptance of others as their reward.
My wife works for a national corporation. She has a territory that spans four states. Last year we had just gotten engaged and soon after the day she announced our engagement, the company newsletter proclaimed her good news to everyone in her region. The salutations poured in. When my wife arrived at a subsequent training meeting, the lunch banquet had a French theme to incorporate our honeymoon destination! She was so surprised and texted me immediately what they had done. Everyone was happy and celebrated. The spirit of community building in her company is very strong. No team vs. team. No “us” vs. “them.” It’s all about you and what you can do to make us a better community. It bleeds out into the climate of their customers and the ROI (Return on Investment) is growing.
For years people have attempted to build community. They have tried in the schools, but we are a disjointed society without a lot of free time to get involved in our children’s school. They have tried in neighborhoods, but most people can’t name four families that live two doors down the street from them. They have tried in churches, but when the most active people only attend 2-3 hours a week, you can’t build a very large, viable community. The place we work is where we spend most of our time every week. It contains the people we interact with more than anyone else in our lives. It is the perfect breeding ground to grow community. You can take a dysfunctional group of people and build a strong community out of their needs and wants that are satisfied by mixing together.