Fostering Engagement: Encouraging Team Members to Embrace Their Communities - Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
Fostering Engagement: Encouraging Team Members to Embrace Their Communities
The Lancaster Chamber recently held our first leadership summit, Next Level Leadership. As part of the event, we asked several local leaders to provide us with their perspectives on what a leader needs to succeed. These articles each provide valuable insights and guidance on the art of leading and influencing others. They offer practical tips for aspiring and experienced leaders alike, helping them navigate the challenges of today’s fast-paced and complex business world. Check out each one and learn ways to enhance your own leadership abilities and how you can inspire positive change in your organizations and communities.

Fostering Engagement: Encouraging Team Members to Embrace Their Communities

by Joshua Burke, Interim Executive Director, Leadership Lancaster

In today’s fast-paced workplace landscape, more and more companies are recognizing the value of an engaged team. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic many employees are reevaluating their values and not only a commitment to their roles but also feeling a strong sense of connection to their workplace.  One powerful way to cultivate this sense of belonging is team members feeling empowered to actively engage with their local communities. This engagement contributes to a more cohesive and motivated team in several ways.

1.      Building a Sense of Purpose

Team members that are empowered to be active members of their communities provides them with a sense of purpose beyond the workplace. When individuals are involved in community activities, they can see the positive impact they can have on the world around them. This sense of purpose carries over into their work, as they begin to see how their contributions within the company are a part of a larger tapestry of positive change.

2.      Enhancing Interpersonal Skills

 Community involvement often requires individuals to interact with diverse groups of people. Whether it’s volunteering at a community organization or participating in neighborhood clean-up events, team members are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. This exposure fosters the development of crucial interpersonal skills such as communication, empathy, and teamwork.

3.      Promoting Personal Growth

Engaging with the community provides team members with opportunities for personal development. Whether it’s through learning new skills, taking on leadership roles through board service, or simply stepping out of their comfort zones, employees can experience substantial growth. This newfound confidence and competence often translate into enhanced performance at work. Team members who feel they are growing both personally and professionally are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and proactive in their roles.

4.      Improved Mental Health

Community engagement plays a pivotal role in bolstering a team member’s mental health and well-being. When individuals actively participate in community activities, whether within their workplace or broader societal contexts, they foster a sense of belonging and connectedness. This social interaction provides a crucial support system, enabling individuals to share experiences, seek advice, and receive validation.

5.      Strengthening The Workplace Environment

Encouraging community engagement fosters a sense of loyalty among teams. When workers see that their employer valuing their contributions not only within the company but also in the broader community, they are more likely to stay committed to their roles. This increased loyalty can translate into a more positive and productive working environment.  It allows the team member to feel valued for not only their work, but their drive to make a positive impact in the community. 

At Leadership Lancaster our mission is to develop outstanding community leadership to support the needs of Lancaster County. Encouraging team members to be actively involved in their communities is a powerful strategy for fostering engagement.  All our programs are designed to create the opportunity to pursue passions either related or unrelated to day job responsibilities to support our community needs.  They help to provide team members with a sense of purpose, enhance their interpersonal skills, and promote personal growth.  Companies that recognize and support their teams’ community involvement not only create a more engaged workforce but also contribute to a better community.

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