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Creating the Home Team Advantage

Hack No. 9 The Home Team Advantage. If there is one thing that binds people together, it’s the spirit of community. A shared sense of understanding. Sports, music, cooking, volunteering, work. Common links. Shared knowledge. Collective cause. A source of support. We strive to feel part of a community. Community builds camaraderie.

How you bring the Home Team Advantage (click through to read the stats) to life at work can eclipse crisis and help us grow. More importantly, it helps us outperform. The home team advantage creates community. Community, developed well, is management multiplier. When companies view community building as a way to enable new levels of performance, they recognize the power of the home team advantage.

Why do sports team win regularly when playing ‘at-home’? Because, their community is behind them – the community comes out to applaud, support, uplift them. They feel as though they cannot fail.

Brian Solis, a digital analyst, author and speaker made a great point when he said: "Community is much more than belonging to something: it's about doing something together that makes belonging matter". As a leader, don't you think we have to strive for this sense of making things matter? Particularly, given todays exit rates and lack of engagement. Here are just a few from according to Zippia extensive research:

  • As of 2021, the national average annual turnover rate was 57.3%.

  • The number of people who left their job due to quitting, layoffs, discharges, or any other separation increased to 6.2 million people in September 2021.

  • Companies lose 18% of their workforce to turnover each year, on average. 12% of this is voluntary, and 6% is involuntary (layoffs, terminations, etc.).

  • In 2022, the overall cost of voluntary employee turnover amounted to over $1 trillion.

  • Highly engaged employees are 75% less likely to leave.

  • 31% of employees have quit within the first 6 months of starting a new job.

We hardly need empirical evidence to see the power of community but here’s my list of top ten reasons community is king and why you, as a frontline leader must bring it to your workplace and teams:

  1. Community builds camaraderie – it is a collaborative, connecting process that moves focus to the group and way from the self. People work on the common good.

  2. Community builds mutual ownership – a collective sense of responsibility for the end result, the outcome.

  3. Community members feel a sense of responsibility to each other. They have a natural inclination to chip in and help each other.

  4. Communities offer greater protection – with more eyes on the ball (think neighborhood watch) individuals become less vulnerable.

  5. Communities bring commitment – walking away from something becomes a community discussion. We don’t want to let others down.

  6. Communities help us to focus on what unites us not what divides us – we are surrounded by kindred spirits. A sense of belonging.

  7. Communities accelerate progress – joint agendas, more people take proactive steps.

  8. Communities build non-traditional leaders – natural stars rise not people in positions.

  9. Communities attract experts – people discover the 'go-to' people they may not have known existed.

  10. Community triggers engagement – causes, concerns, success, passion, ideas. They are shared. It creates an environment that sparks confidence.

As a leader, if you can create a sense of community through your teams, it can become a superpower. Your superpower.

The hack is simple – ask your teams what community, if they created it, would serve them best? A community to help solve problems, to help develop expertise, to build moral, to grow engagement, to solve problems, to grow the business? Ask:

  1. How much community do your teams currently feel or create?

  2. Do you look for ways to build community?

  3. What is needed to foster that sense of community in your teams?

Community is the outcome of connection and collaboration. It’s a 1 + 1 = 3 situation.

When individuals connect and collaborate communities form and communication increases. People with problems find people with solutions.

5 Things You Can Do Today:

  1. Encourage mutual interests

  2. Be part of the community but don’t try to lead it

  3. Create a ‘friend finder’ to connect people

  4. Create a community spirit award

  5. Get among the local community to show what it looks like….

Remember, you go further, faster, together.

From the book Manage to Engage. How Great Managers Create Remarkable Results. The post-pandemic how-to guide for engaging in the new world of work.

This is another #HackingitwithHackett - the Q4 Challenge. Post-sized Hacks to help frontline leaders better engage, enable and energize their teams, and improve their operational results - before year end.

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