When cultivating a healthier workplace, many companies focus on the physical environment – Is the break room stocked with healthy snacks? Do employees have the resources needed for a healthy work-life balance? While these tools help improve workplace wellness, creating a welcoming environment that promotes a sense of belonging among employees is just as important.
What is belonging?
Belonging occurs when employees feel supported, accepted, and included, says Culture Amp.
Why is a sense of belonging important?
A sense of belonging is connected to motivation, commitment, pride, and a positive work attitude. Belonging is also strongly correlated with employee engagement, according to a recent survey. In fact, the most common metric that “consistently and universally ties to a person’s workplace commitment, motivation, and pride is a sense of belonging.”
Belonging helps employees feel like they can be their authentic selves, which contributes to performance and retention, says LinkedIn. A combination of diversity, inclusion, and belonging lead to optimal employee engagement. This is the crucial piece to the puzzle, leading to psychological safety and employee engagement, explains LinkedIn’s HR Chief, Pat Wadors.
How to foster workplace belonging:
When asked what would make employees feel like they belong in their workplaces, 59% of employees said “being recognized for my accomplishments.”
Other popular answers include:
- Having opportunities to express opinions freely
- Feeling that contributions in team meetings are valued
- Feeling comfortable with being themselves at work
(Read all answers in the chart below)
Photo from LinkedIn article: “Employees Share What Gives Them a Sense of Belonging at Work.”
Belonging means something different to everyone. Below are a few ways to foster workplace belonging among employees according to Culture Amp:
- Employee Surveys: Utilize these resources to measure successes within your organizational culture goals and discover areas to improve in.
- Social Gatherings: Schedule company outings to encourage social bonds between coworkers.
- Relationship Development: Mentorship programs can be a great way to build trusting relationships in the workplace.
Workplace belonging is a critical element in positive employee engagement. Feeling a sense of belonging can make a world of difference when it comes to motivation, performance, and retention.