top of page
  • Writer's pictureNeta Vizel

M&Ms and Community – What’s the Connection?

I recently completed another managers development program at one of the fastest growing hi-tech companies. Prior to the program, the managers had only a brief acquaintance; not a very deep one, which necessarily promoted one another.

Cup of coffee and M&M chocolate
M&Ms and Community – What’s the Connection?

As a way of summarizing the workshop at the end, I used M&Ms. As participants munched on the M&Ms, they shared their experiences from the workshop. They felt at ease, and it was an opportunity for managers to connect, compliment each other, and bond.

Through this activity, M&M candies were given a new meaning as they were used to solidify and connect managers around the program and their common role. ‘Community Experience’, as it is called in professional circles.

One of the participants was fasting (Ramadan Fast) and therefore didn’t munch M&M’s during this activity.

Later that day, in the evening, he sent the group a picture of him breaking the fast with a cup of coffee and the M&M candy next to it (photo attached).

Besides sending the photo, he also conveyed one more message to the group. He was actually telling them that he felt part of the group and that this bond with the group is extremely valuable to him. In taking and sending the photo he revived the experience of their relationship even when they were no longer in the same place and the workshop was over.

Community experiences strengthen relationships between workers and create a sense of belonging.

There are several reasons why community experience is important in the workplace:

  • Enhances commitment and involvement in the position and organization.

  • Enhances organizational behavior and personal empowerment.

  • Enhances partnerships and collaboration between employees.

  • Reduces attrition.

With the current fast-paced organizational reality: global, hybrid, constant change, uncertainty, it is difficult to create the social glue that binds employees.

The timing of when this photo was sent caught me when I was reading the fascinating research by Livne-Tarandach Jazaieri, on quickly creating a swift sense of community, even in ad-hoc teams gathered together for a short-term assignment. Per this research, a swift sense of community is characterized by a sense of inclusion and shared responsibility for the well-being of all partners, through positive attribution.

This swift sense of community is made up of 5 elements:

  • The feeling of belonging to a group or a feeling of personal connection.

  • There is a sense that the group serves the needs of its members, who are motivated to participate and are rewarded for their efforts.

  • There is a sense of widespread influence.

  • Positive attribution because I am recognized and loved.

  • Responsibility and commitment to the well-being of the group and its members.

🎯 The research showed that giving additional meaning to everyday objects can quickly instill a sense of community by making them feel more meaningful.

🎯 The research concluded that it is more effective to use objects to connect employees with each other rather than objects to connect employees with the organization (branded products).

🎯 This is yet another research emphasizing that human relationships are the foundation of feeling good, wanting to do good, and cooperating with others in order to succeed.

To generate long-term commitment, motivation, and impact, invest in interpersonal skills to create and maintain close work relationships in a world marked by instability, pressure, changes, and uncertainty.


bottom of page