If you have been keeping up with some of our previous blogs, you understand the importance of value in peer support programs following a crisis. As peer support specialists and open advocates for workplace and peer-to-peer support programs, we feel it necessary to reiterate some of the values that implementing a support program within an organization.

One of the first things to remember when considering implementing a peer support program within your organization is that there will be obstacles in the way. For example, it is hard for people to be vulnerable, and a peer support program must be implemented in such a way that appeals to your employees and coworkers vulnerabilities. The easiest way to overcome such an obstacle is to understand that for as many people in your organization that are hurting as a result of a past crisis, there is an amount equal to, or greater than, those who hurt that would be willing to help.

When a crisis occurs in the workplace, or within close proximity to the workplace, it is important to understand that some people will experience great emotional traumas, some will experience minor traumas, and some will experience little to no trauma. That being said, there is one thing that can be done that will greatly benefit your organization — creating a sense of community.

How To Create A Sense Of Community

There are many ways that one could seek to foster a sense of community in the workplace, but it all comes down to one important variable to determine if your plan will work — making people feel comfortable with each other. Now, this can be done in many ways ranging from organizing social events where people can get to know one another better, or it can be done in a way that promotes workplace productivity such as requiring employees to branch out and work with those that they otherwise might not. , As your source of leadership training and development courses and peer support specialist training, Peer Support Central has compiled a short list of some ways that you might be able to more successfully create a close-knit workplace community.

  • Outside Of Work Outings – As we stated above, one of the best ways to create a communal sense in the workplace is to have coworkers mingle in a way that doesn’t seem forced or mandatory. For example, as an employer, you could schedule an after-work cocktail hour where employees can intermingle and establish new connections in a comfortable and relaxing environment.
  • Establish That The Company Cares – Another way to create a sense of community in the workplace that doesn’t involve individual connections is to show that the company cares about all of its employees. Now, this can be done in many ways ranging from free product giveaways, company get-togethers (during the workday), and the availability of amenities that might allow your employees to relax, or de-stress, for a short period of time during the day.
  • Create A “Company Minded” Work Structure – While it may seem as if the two actions above are in a sense creating a company minded stricture, we mean more so in the physical structure of the company. Take for instance if you were to appoint different people, of all management levels as “ambassadors” of different wellness initiatives. One could be in charge of scheduling company outings and lunch events, and another could be an ambassador of friendly health and wellness competitions. In doing so, your company will foster a  community of friendly competition and interaction.

The Effects Of Community On Crisis

Say that a crisis occurs within, or near your place of work. People will react to the incident differently, but by having a close-knit community, they will have the resources to cope. Not only would someone feel more comfortable in approaching a coworker for help, but co-workers will be more inclined to help.

How Can You Get Started?

In reality, it is extremely easy to get started in building a sense of community in your workplace all you have to do is, well — get started. All of the above information in this blog post is easily applicable, even without any special training.

If you are serious about implementing a community of peer support within your company, it is extremely beneficial to attend a peer support training course so that you, as an administrator, can better foster the feeling of community and support within your workplace in the event of a crisis. Following the epigram of Murphy’s Law, anything that can happen will happen at some point — even crisis. Because of this, it is important to be prepared at all times.

Here at Peer Support Central, we urge you to join us in attending a peer support specialist training course so that you are better able to structure your organization to withstand the aftermath of a crisis situation by creating a community.

If you are interested in attending one of our peer support specialist training courses, we urge you to sign up for a course on our schedule. If you have any questions about peer support or the courses we teach here at Peer Support Central, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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