Every employer and employee prefers to stay in an environment where they can participate easily and learn continuously. But developing such an environment is not easy. A community can be a physical or virtual space. People will come to this space, share their common interests, and goals. They will share ideas, connect with others, exchange thoughts, and put efforts together to achieve the shared goals. You may find this definition of professional community building is vague, we can say that community is actually a fluid entity. This virtual concept can be deployed in many forms, around every possible topic, and for that, we can follow endless systems and approaches.
The benefit or importance of professional community building may not be known by you. But we find it sacred to ensure the growth of both employees and organizations.
Why is professional community building so important?
- It fosters connection
According to the socialization process of humans, they do not prefer to stay alone, they prefer to connect with other people. School, college, church, workplaces, etc are our community spaces to properly connect with the social and cultural environment around us. We like to connect with other people about things, experiences, and topics that matter to us.
In work environments, community-building practices are now well valued. Due to lack of connection, lots of people feel alone and do not be as productive as the employer wants. They may have the required skills to accomplish a job but due to lack of connection, many errors can take place in the work. But with healthy connections, preventing errors and ensuring growth become easily achievable.
Professional community building is actually a crucial process that encourages connection between people and also develops the infrastructure to let connection take place.
- It creates space for sharing
It is not that professional community building only helps create a connection among people but also helps create collective space for experience sharing. While creating a community, we have to take care of a few facts such as systems of safety, good moderation, and openness. In this way, people will be able to learn from each other.
Knowledge sharing is actually a very effective empowering practice as it acts as a source of motivation, inspiration, learning, and support for all associated people in the community.
- It encourages collective learning
The act of sharing is a way to empower people and is a great source of learning. When people exchange knowledge they learn more about certain topics. If it is related to work, all associated people will learn different ways to perform that work.
When people get a safe and healthy environment to share, people create values and opportunities so that everyone can learn more and apply the knowledge in practical applications.
- It enables collective growth
When there is collective learning, it will bring collective growth too. Helpful community activities, dialogues, open conversations, knowledge sharing, experience sharing, and mutual support are simply making collective learning and growth much easier for everyone in the community.
When a person gets multiple perspectives, experiences and expertise, and opinions, he/she gets the actual opportunity to advance his own knowledge and realize the benefit in their own professional journey.
- It boosts trust-building
Professional community-building practices actually help in creating spaces or opportunities for people so that they can easily strengthen their trust with each other. An environment of trust is very much required in order to grow personally and professionally.
You may have seen that when it comes to business organizations, they perform community and trust-building activities so that they can have better trust in their audience, people, clients, and users.
- It fosters innovation
Community building is actually a way to create a collective space. In that collective space, people can pour their experiences, ideas, opinions, and perspectives and as a result, they give birth to innovation.
When skilled people are working together they can prove excellence and train others at the same time. It is all about creating something bigger, superior, and completely future-proof.
These are the benefits or importance that we can enjoy with professional community building. We can say that community building starts with one person and they are simply dot-connectors. They are really skilled and it feels like they have these inherited skills. But there are a lot of people who do not have these skills. But they have to achieve these skills to be an active part of any community, especially in their workplaces.
When it comes to how we can build a professional community that brings plenty of benefits. According to experts, practicing some skills can make it possible. What are those skills? Let’s explore below-
Skills you should practice for successful professional community building
- Gain the ability to create humans to human connections
Creating human-to-human connections is important in a workforce. There are very few job posts that do not require collaboration. But maximum organizations require solid collaboration power of all employees to do the task on time and take meaningful decisions whenever it is required. The lack of proper connection and collaboration can cause lots of errors in the workplace such as complicated communication, missing deadlines, poor quality work, and so many other disturbing things that can affect the growth of the business.
When it comes to human-to-human connection creation, an expert leader must conduct the entire thing. Expert leaders generally share knowledge, drive product/service improvements, and foster engagement in order to build a successful professional community. While generating such communication, it is important to train and inspire associates in the best way so that in the near future, they can be leaders and encourage future professional community building. A successful human-to-human connection can be developed only when proper communication, training, and encouragement are taking place at the right ratio.
If associated people can achieve the skill to create human-to-human connections, they will automatically generate a better work environment. In such an environment, employees will better communicate with each other, solve issues, and do the best thing that is required to complete the job with the best satisfaction rate. Inspiring people is really important to make them learn more, grow more, and perform better.
- Start focusing on the person in front of you
There should be an environment where people can communicate freely and discuss important topics. While discussing, you should practice concentrating on the person you are communicating with. Be it a virtual or physical discussion, you have to understand more about the person in front of you. When you start to learn a person better, you can develop a better relationship with that person.
If you have a good relationship with a person in your workforce, that person can be at a point where you can expect the most help and best support. And these are really important to enhance your work-related skills.
Successful professional community building starts with a welcoming environment. In this way, people who do not know more about the topic can express their interest to learn a new thing without feeling any kind of hesitation.
Once you can achieve it or you can create such a comfy environment, you are destined to take the team or the organization to a whole new level where growth is guaranteed. Maybe you are planning to teach and inspire 50 people per session. In that session, all members may not be present. Even if present members are less than 10, you should share knowledge and inspire them. While encouraging people for a better professional community, you should not always concentrate on the number of persons.
- Show care and guidance
When it comes to community building i.e. better relationship development and management, you have to care for the community you are trying to develop. Strengths, weaknesses, pain points, and so many other facts are there to care. When you will care as well as guide your entire community, the bond will be stronger. It is not that you will set a one-size-fits-all type of care regime. You have to find out the pain points of each individual and help them to solve them. The continuous practice of such a regime will create a great environment that will let each care for each other.
You have to equip them with the best tools, training, and infrastructure so that they do the best for your organization. Once you build an atmosphere of care, training future employees or building future professional communities becomes easy. You should make the foundation strong to ensure the best growth of your organization.
Solving each others’ problems is really effective in creating a better bond. When everyone in the community works with the same passion and care, taking the company to a better position won’t be a hard thing.
- Always think out of the box
Any sudden and massive change can take place at any time and the community has to be ready to accept the change as well as a challenge. For example, we can say that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we used to work as well as communicate. But since November 2019, we are making things possible in a different as well as more efficient way.
You have to be ready with the best tools and technologies so that adjusting to a new trend never be a burden on you. Companies that were ready with remote work tools were not affected by this pandemic. But companies that were running with age-old practices have found this overnight shift really hard to capture. During the pandemic and country-wide lockdown, they were running out of the required resources and infrastructure. And as a result, they have faced a lot of losses.
While professional community building all ideas of each community member should be accepted with care. The idea should be evaluated to get some benefits that can make the organization truly future-proof. Each member of the community should get a welcoming environment as well as inspiration to share their ideas that can take the community as well as the organization to a better level. Ideas do wonders and while professional community management, you have to take care that no idea is getting skipped even before the right analysis.
- Be more flexible for a better future
Each industry is going through various shifts. The pandemic has enabled many changes to all industries. In the previous point, we have seen that companies that lack adaptability have suffered the worst. Any change can take place at any time and for that, we all have to be well prepared. While professional community building, it is also important to revise the infrastructure. Each community member should be trained well to adapt to changes without any second thought. Members of a community should help each other to be more flexible to new changes.
Professional community management is not only about learning constantly but also helping each other. If anything gets the most value in a community-building scenario, it is who comes to help first. A mindset to help each other should be implanted well to ensure big achievements.
These are the best skills that you must practice for successful professional community building. Professional community management is important for all business organizations regardless of their size and industry type. Community building should start under the guidance of experts but each member of the community should be aware of these skills. They should try to achieve these skills and practice these in their day-to-day work lives.
Here, technologies and the ability to adapt to new technologies are also important. So, each member should get the required infrastructure, community help, training, and guidance to grow and adjust to the community vibe. When it comes to making the infrastructure superior, you can start with having the best employee management tools, HRMWARE software, communication software, cloud settings, etc. These things can make you strong enough to accept any change in the near future.