Campaign Flights

Campaign Name: JUNE – Community vs Culture (a subpart of Compensation)

Blog Post

Community vs Culture (a subpart of Compensation)

Last month we took a tour of some nuanced strategies to optimize employees’ total reward package. 

This month we’re addressing what might be called the long (or middle?) game in supporting employee retention. Employee retention has such an economic hit to the business, so this strategy is well worth updating.

Community building within your company –  which is different than culture as community focuses on the interpersonal and social aspects at your company, whereas culture encompasses the broader organizational environment and norms – and all of it could be called a form of indirect compensation given its enormous value. 

Community building starts with clarity: people need to know what the common goals are, what are they rallying around, how do they,  as a unique puzzle piece, fit into the whole picture? 

Clarity about roles is one thing you might imagine improved after the turmoil of the pandemic.

Turns out, not so much.

Gallup reported this year that employees are significantly less certain about what is expected of them than they were in 2020 – across the board, whether remote, hybrid or on-site. In answer to the question “I know what is expected of me at work”, 

  • Remote employees  – 47% answered yes, a 12 point drop from 2020.
  • On site employees – 43% said yes, a 6 point drop.
  • Hybrid workers –  41%  said yes, a drop of 13%.

In fact, improving communications about expectations could be the secret sauce that jumpstarts community that no one is talking about.

Where to start

Humans are complex social beings. That is why building community doesn’t work too well in a silo. How might you design and deliver a series or short team program that incorporates leadership, learning, practical strategies, team bonding. 

The possibilities are many – and potentially overwhelming. 

Here is a checklist to audit some areas, and a tool to help tailor workshops. First, do a quick scan of this list and see what stands out to you.

Forshay’s PeopleOps Checklist for Building Team Community:

Shared Values & Purpose:
  • Mission & Vision: Is the company mission and vision clearly communicated?
  • Team Building Activities: Are there regular team-building events that promote collaboration?
  • Recognition & Rewards: Do programs recognize behaviors that embody company values and teamwork?
Open Communication & Transparency:
  • Leadership Accessibility: Are leaders approachable and visible to employees?
  • Communication Channels: Are there established channels for regular communication (town halls, emails, etc.)?
  • Transparency & Feedback: Is there transparency in decision-making, and is employee feedback encouraged?
Collaboration & Psychological Safety:
  • Cross-Functional Teams: Are there opportunities for collaboration between different departments?
  • Psychological Safety: Do employees feel safe to share ideas and make mistakes without fear of punishment?
  • Conflict Resolution: Are healthy conflict resolution strategies in place?
Celebration & Recognition:
  • Team Wins: Are team accomplishments, big and small, celebrated?
  • Employee Appreciation: Are there programs to show appreciation for individual and team contributions?
  • Social Events: Are there opportunities for employees to connect outside of work hours?
Diversity & Inclusion:
  • Diversity Initiatives: Are there programs to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace?
  • Mentorship Programs: Are there mentorship programs to connect experienced and new employees?
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Are there options for flexible work arrangements to promote work-life balance?


Now, armed with your shortlist, here’s a tool for you to move forward. We’re using BALLOON ( to tailor community or team workshops to exactly what would serve that specific team – it can be skill development (personal or career growth), team cohesion, increasing belonging…all of which directly impact business performance. 

The way we use Balloon is our clients’ team members tell us what serves them and then we deliver. Simple, efficient and effective

So what do you think? Is your organization at the top end of the “community” compensation scale? Would you like to have a chat about it? Reach out for a coffee or tea and sympathy chat today.