6 questions to mesure your sense of belonging in the workplace

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Feeling included is a basic human need. When people feel a sense of belonging at work, they’re not only happier and more social– they’re also much more productive. A sense of workplace belonging builds confidence, which leads to greater flexibility, efficiency, and happiness at work. But how to measure it? Assess your sense of belonging within your organization Respond to each statement by selecting a number to indicate how much you agree or disagree with the statement. I generally feel that people accept me in my organization: Strongly disagree 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 Strongly agree I feel like a misplaced piece that doesn’t fit into the larger puzzle of the organization: Strongly disagree 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 Strongly agree I would like to make a difference to people around me at work‚ but I don’t feel that what I have to offer is valued:  Strongly disagree 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 Strongly agree I feel like an outsider in most situations in my organization:  Strongly disagree 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 Strongly agree   I am uncomfortable that my background and experiences are so different from those who are usually around me in the organization: Strongly disagree 1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5 — 6 — 7 Strongly agree Scoring: 
  • Step 1: 2, 3, 4, and 5 are reverse scored, so subtract each of your answer choices from 8 (8 minus your answer choice number) and then add them up to get a subtotal.
  • Step 2: Add your answer choice number from 1 to your subtotal.
A score of 0–15:  You don’t feel a sense of belonging. You do not feel safe and valued for expressing your true self.  Your main opportunity: Understand that it’s normal to lack a sense of belonging in the first year of a new job. Try to identify the situations in which you don’t feel a sense of belonging: Is it in certain settings (like video calls) or with certain groups of people? Then try to find a culture buddy or mentor who can help you decode these situations. This is someone who understands the culture and can answer your questions and give feedback on items small (e.g., how the tone of your emails is coming across) to large (e.g., helping you understand that feeling out of place is normal). Note: When you still frequently lack a sense of belonging after two years, it’s time to think about moving to a different group or organization.   A score of 16–30:  You feel some sense of belonging. You mainly feel safe and valued for expressing your true self, but there is still room for improvement.  Your main opportunity: Remember that feeling like you belong doesn’t mean work will suddenly be a walk in the park—it means the normal ups and downs of office life won’t cause you quite so much stress. Look for ways to model creating a sense of belonging in your own team. For example, assume good intentions. If a colleague you know and trust makes a misstep, explain why their behavior made you feel excluded and propose an alternate action. A score of more than 30:  You feel a good sense of belonging. You feel that you can usually share your thoughts and know you’ll be respected and heard. Sources : Modified from the Sense of Belonging Inventory

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