Many of us have been leading lonelier, more secluded lives of late. As more areas of our existence are digitised, prospects for regular social engagement have decreased, and the pandemic only accelerated this trend.
Increasing employee engagement, and recruiting and retaining talent requires creating a sense of community within a company. We’re all aware of the scourge of talented employees quitting too soon and the effect that has on operational memory and team morale.
3 ways to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace
Get rid of ‘outsiderness’
Even if there has been progress on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), many workers still feel alienated at work, which leads them to repress the aspects of themselves that set them apart from their coworkers. Being made to feel unwelcome is a psychologically unpleasant experience that detracts from one’s ability to concentrate and perform.
Create an environment at work where uniqueness is acknowledged and celebrated. Provide regular opportunity for check-ins and show concern for every employee. The risk that someone may feel alienated at work is mitigated by workplace support, comprehension and trust.
Bring everybody in
Seven out of ten workers said that their company doesn’t let them know about possibilities to promote inclusiveness in their regular job. Make everyone accountable for attaining DEI goals in order to more effectively convey true support for the notion of belonging.
Encourage employees to respect what each individual can do by showing them that you care about them, fighting for their rights and investing in their future. Include employee feedback in organisational values to empower people and demonstrate their significance in creating an inclusive workplace.
Show that you care by offering rewards and taking action
Benefits that work for all demographic groups, such as flexible work hours and mental wellness initiatives, show workers that you’re concerned about their individual requirements both at work and outside of it. Such expressions of gratitude fuel a sense of belonging. In fact, according to our research, these advantages and activities can raise sentiments of inclusion by as much as 38%.
A culture of belonging can also be fostered by initiatives like encouraging diversity in succession planning and hosting events to highlight underrepresented groups (like Women’s History Month).