#Nextchat: Building Corporate Communities

There’s been a lot of buzz the past few years about the topic of corporate culture. And in the echo chamber of HR social media, you can find hundreds of blogs about how great cultures attract and retain the best talent. 

But a great culture doesn’t just happen overnight because a CEO read a blog post. A great culture emerges as the fruit of leaders’ efforts to commit to the principles that will transform their organization into a corporate community.

Corporate communities work to establish healthy relationships within their organization and to ensure that employees—or “community members”—are given the encouragement, attention and development they need to thrive in their roles and to advance personally and professionally. In corporate communities, employees understand how their work contributes to the success of the organization.

A healthy and vibrant corporate community starts at the top. Senior leaders must not only model the desired behaviors they wish to infuse in their organizations, but must also help employees understand the “why.” It’s not about what your company does—but why it does it. If employees understand the “why,” and like it, and want to be a part of it, they are more likely to be excited about their work and deliver better results. 

In the blog post Corporate Culture is Out, Corporate Community Is In, Sharlyn Lauby expresses that “When I think about creating a community, a few things come to mind: creating shared beliefs, experiences and traditions; building authentic relationships; and supporting the other members of the community.” Additionally, she states that “Culture and community sound very similar. The one thing that’s clear is the measurement of success. Communities are successful because their members are successful. For a community to thrive, it needs care and attention. This means building and growing a community is about people, not programs.”

Employment attorney Jonathan Segal emphasizes that “When creating a corporate community, leaders should also focus on ensuring that what makes the community is not commonality with the leader. For the community fit to be legit, leaders need to value diversity in all its dimensions and guard against what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission calls ‘like me’ bias.”

Unfortunately, some organizations are muddled with cultures of control or indifference and it will take some work to reverse these patterns of management. With the right leaders in place, though, anything is possible.

What kind of culture do you wish to see flourishing in your organization and how can you build the community to make it happen?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on November 4 for #Nextchat with special guests Sharlyn Lauby ( @Sharlyn_Lauby) and Jonathan Segal ( @Jonathan_HR_Law). We’ll chat about how corporate communities work and what it takes to build one.

Q1. When you think of the term “corporate community,” what characteristics come to mind?

Q2. What are the differences between a corporate culture and a corporate community?

Q3. How does an organization build a corporate community? What are the basic building blocks?

Q4. What steps can organizations with silo problems take to begin building a corporate community? 

Q5. How can global organizations with thousands of employees across multiple locations create and nurture a corporate community? 

Q6. What are some of the steps you can take to ensure your community attracts and retains diverse talent?

Q7. When a community isn't reaching its full potential, what are some ways to assess if implicit or unconscious bias is involved?   

Q8. What is HR’s role in building and maintaining a healthy corporate community?

If you missed this amazing chat, you can read all the informative tweets in this RECAP.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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