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Building community at the IB

We are continuing to share inspiring stories and showing the ways our community is joining together during this difficult time with #IBtogether. Here, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at the staff members that are keeping us going! This week, we check in with the IB Global Center in Washington, D.C. to learn about the 1IB Community. The 1IB team regularly leads activities and excursions for IB staff members and shares how they are coordinating with our Human Resources (HR) team during lockdown.

Building community at the IB

With many organizations still working remotely, it’s important to help employees feel the sense of connectedness, community and support they have in the office. We connect with the 1IB and Human Resources (HR) team at the Washington, D.C. Global Centre to share how they engage staff members and the importance of the office culture during this time.

“IB learners are balanced and we should be too!”

Can you tell us about what 1IB is and how it started?

1IBCommunity is a group of individuals who value both fun and service as an essential part of the IB employee experience. We work together to take action based on those values. The leadership members manage all the logistics and communications while general members serve as sounding boards for idea brainstorming. It started as the IB Social Committee, and then we did a poll with the office to help us rename it and the office decided on 1IBCommunity. We are 1IB!

Why is it important to have a sense of community in the workplace? Is it more important now, while we are remote during lockdown?

The 1IB community is important because it builds camaraderie between employees who may not otherwise get the chance to interact with each other. It also allows employees to feel more connected to their work community and have opportunities to contribute to the community overall (we are caring just like IB students!).

Furthermore, we spend at least 40 hours per week at work, and it’s very important to bring some enjoyment to employees’ lives so that they can have a chance to unwind and feel appreciated by the IB. With lockdown, it’s even more important to foster relationships and help people to feel connected to each other. IB learners are balanced and we should be too!

“It is essential that we take the time we need to recharge and focus on our own needs so that we have more to give.”

What initiatives are currently underway for 1IB?

We are currently working on sending really nice care packages to all our employees in the Washington, D.C. Global Centre! Also, we are still planning to do some virtual activities through some outside vendors. We would love to have more leadership members stand up to assist with these efforts!

What advice do you have for people trying to coordinate remote events during this time?

Be kind to yourself! There is a lot going on, and it’s okay for your timelines to evolve as you go. Even when there isn’t a global pandemic, the process should be mostly fun! This has been a big lesson learned by 1IBC leadership: it’s okay for things to adapt―just go with the flow.

What positive aspects do you hope that the IB community will take away from this remote experience?

The importance of rest and relaxation! It is essential that we take the time we need to recharge and focus on our own needs so that we have more to give. Also, the importance of community and having others around to chat with in the hallway and to share a cup of coffee. We were born to connect with each other!

We also reached out to Stephen Battalia, Head of HR for the IB Global Centre, Washington D.C., to hear more about the efforts to help IB staff during COVID-19 and learn about the new initiatives his team created to support our staff.

Our team in the U.S. is using this time to check in with our employees and let them know we care. We are here to provide support to our employees during these challenging times by offering new resources.

We have launched a variety of wellness programmes, lunch & learns and are now offering one-on-one coaching for all U.S. employees.

Since we have also moved to a fully-remote onboarding process, we are staying close to all our 2020 new hires and are checking in as often as possible.

Lastly, to better support and stay in touch with our management teams, we send out weekly tips and ideas on successful remote working to our heads and managers.

The IB is encouraging students, teachers, alumni and staff to share your ideas for #IBtogether on social media. We encourage you to share your own #IBtogether posts on Twitter and Instagram. You can also follow along with #IBtogether posts from the IB community on our curated social page here.

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