How to build strong sense of belonging in a workplace

One of the most essential success keys for each company is the insurance of the wellbeing and prosperity of its employees.

Thus, each director, manager or leader should pay attention to the atmosphere that he creates inside the working space. Does your worker feel that they belong to your company? Are they accepted and fully integrated into the company culture? Is there any initiative to facilitate the inclusion and integration of new employees?

If the answer to all those questions is negative, you should work then on your diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices.

Through this article we will indicate three ways to step up your D&I strategy.

  • Sense of belonging in the workplace 

Even if all the organization seems to have distinct values and representations that characterize its working place, this does not automatically mean that all the employees feel included or belonging to the company.

That’s why building a sense of belonging allow HR managers and directors to create a better working space, and to restore new inclusion approaches.

But let’s start with identifying the meaning of the “belonging sense ”.

In fact, the sense of belonging or belongingness is the sense of fitting in or feeling like you are an important member of a group.

 A close family gives each one of its members a strong sense of belonging.

Many employers and multinational experts say that belongingness is a key element of the inclusion strategy. When employees feel like they belong to the company and that they are well included and important to the organization they tend to be more motivated, enthusiastic and loyal.

 A well-established inclusion approach can make worker more aligned with the company objectives and goals, this will make them see the success and the prosperity of the company as their own success.

This strategy is not only good for employees, but it contributes to the improvement of the business performance.

Organizational researches have proven that companies with a great and sustainable D&I strategy have seen a 20% increase of their inclusion rate, which means a better intent to stay, a higher loyalty, on the job effort and a high performance.

  • 3 ways to reinforce the sense of belonging. 

Employees tend to feel that they belong if they see and feel that the organization really cares about them.

HR manager and company leader can take those 3 steps to strengthen their belonging culture and attain their D&I objectives.

  1. Bring all your employees on board. 

More than 70% of employees say that a big part of organizations never informs them of the opportunities to insert inclusion in their day to day work.

To promote the belonging idea within the company, each manager needs to make everyone responsible for diversity and inclusion goals in a daily basis.

That is why companies need to empower and encourage employees to value and cherish what each member can bring to the table.

This will only happen if employees care for each other, invest more time and effort in their colleague’s growth and wellbeing and lastly advocate for everyone’s voice to be respected and heard.

By including employees’ ideas and suggestions into the organization big value and strategies you can show them that hey count for you, they have important, meaningful and equitable right in creating a more inclusive working place.

  1. Show care through benefits and initiatives. 

Benefits can interest any demographic group, in fact including flexible working schedules and emotional and psychological wellness programs, demonstrate to your workers that you care for their particular needs and well being inside and outside of work.

Those gestures and initiatives of appreciation and cares contribute to a stronger sense of belonging.

Statistics have shown that benefits and initiatives rise the inclusion feeling by 38%.

Initiatives like holding celebratory events in favor of underrepresented groups, minorities or encouraging diversity in succession plans are one of the strongest measures to reinforce the culture belonging.

Offering benefits and initiatives to employees to consider and thank their distinct contribution to the company proves that business success and prosperity are highly correlated to their feeling of acceptance of belonging to the organization they work for.

  1. Get rid of the “outsiderness”.

Despite the big progress occurring in D&I strategies, many workers still feel like strangers or outsiders in their working place.

This bitter feeling can make them hide or suppress the traits or characteristics that make them distinguished from their colleagues.

The outsider feeling is a negative and painful experience that causes cognitive damage such as distraction, depression that tends to decrease each one focus, motivation and performance.

To avoid this situation, each company should develop inclusive strategies that encourage individuality, uniqueness and difference as a source of wealth and richness.

Companies should show their care for their employees and give them the right opportunities to get involved with the organisation plans.

All these elements combined well help companies decrease the “outsiderness” feeling and make their workers more comfortable, integrated and aligned with companies’ value and goals.

At the end we can say that belonging is good for business.

Companies creating strong belonging strategies, inclusive working place, integration strategies and diversity acceptance and cherishing tend to see their workers becoming more loyal, productive and happy.

“Within each of us there is an intense need to feel that we belong. This feeling of unity and togetherness comes through the warmth of a smile, a handshake, or a hug, through laughter and unspoken demonstrations of love. It comes in the quiet, reverent moments of soft conversation and in listening.”

William R. Bradford

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