Beyond the Buzzwords: How HR Can Start Building Internal Communities

2021 Talent Conference & Expo
Attendees will learn how to create and support thriving communities in the workplace so employees can feel engaged and fulfilled.

The word “community” gets thrown around a lot these days. But it's not always used correctly. A community is more than a distribution list. A community is a group of people gathered around a shared interest, and most importantly, a thriving community is a group of people gathered around a shared interest who are moving in a strategic direction. For too long, we've set up communities of practice or enterprise resource groups (ERGs) that we call communities, but that only function as distribution lists for a one-way exchange of information. In this session, you'll learn how to build communities inside your organization: whether it's empowered ERGs, groups of innovators, groups of learners or any other community interest. It's enormously important that HR can support creating communities (in particular, virtual communities) in the workplace, and we'll demystify how to do that and show you compelling examples to aspire to.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze examples of thriving communities inside large and small organizations from many different industries and see how those communities represent a competitive advantage for those organizations.
  • Walk through the steps required to build a community, from conceptualization to recruitment of members to supporting engagement. You'll have a step-by-step guide that you can use again and again in the future.
  • Understand the value proposition for why communities are important and how you can effectively communicate that value to your business partners and leaders.
  • Begin taking actions toward improving the quality of the communities you are already part of in your workplace.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:30pm

Steve Garguilo


Steve Garguilo is an instigator with a track record of large-scale, grassroots change inside big companies. As the Founder of Cultivate, he leads a team that empowers changemakers inside many different types of organizations. His team at Cultivate also pioneered an enterprise software platform that supports workplace communities.

He is the author of a #1 bestseller, Surge: Your Guide to Put Any Idea into Action.

Garguilo has also worked on social ventures globally. In 2014, he completed The Mongol Rally, a 10,000-mile adventure from London to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, fundraising for the African Prisons Project. He has visited each of the 48 contiguous United States and is a member of the “century club” having visited over 100 countries.


Room: Forum 130
Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
Global & Cultural Effectiveness
Leadership & Navigation
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