What is a sense of belonging?
Firstly, it is important to answer ‘What is a sense of belonging?’. A sense of belonging or belongingness is defined as ‘the quality or state of being an essential or important part of something’. This could be in any part of life whether it be within your family, the workplace, religion, or your friends.
Why is it important to have a sense of belonging at work?
So, now that we know what a sense of belonging is, why is it important to have a sense of belonging at work? A sense of belonging within the workplace makes employees feel less isolated, are more likely to have open conversations and above all their general well-being is improved. Having employees who have a sense of belonging will improve productivity and performance.
A survey recently done by Mckinsey & Company showed that more than half of employees that left their job in the past six months did not feel valued by their organisation or they lacked a sense of belonging. An article published by Arran Heal the managing director of CMP wrote ‘Research by behavioural scientists published in the Harvard Business Review claims 40 percent of staff feel isolated at work’ The BetterUp researchers found that a strong sense of belonging was linked to a 56 percent increase in job performance and 75 percent fewer days of absence as well as 50 percent less likely to leave their job.
So how can you create a sense of belonging in the workplace?
As a result of COVID, staff are less attached to the workplace, often preferring to work from home and take video calls, over face-to-face conversations. Something like a recurring schedule could work quite well. For example, on Thursdays, the team go out for lunch where everyone can socialise, talk over important topics, problem-solve and brainstorm. This will help give employees a reason to come to work and feel motivated and belonging. Another solution is to check up on your team from time to time and just see how they are doing and see if there’s anything they need to talk over. A chat that isn’t just agenda-driven will help make the employees feel they are listened to. Open conversations are one of the best ways to create a sense of belonging within the workplace. These conversations should be of better quality rather than of high quantity.
Please reach out to us if you would like to know more and one of our expert HR advisors would be happy to help!
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