How to Help your people Belong

What can you do to create a strong sense of belonging within your organization?
  • Lead with an inspirational mission and purpose that aligns and creates an emotional connection with all employees.
  • Encode and live by a strong set of values that guide both business and interpersonal behaviors. Emphasize things like respect, collaboration and fun.
  • Set the expectation and train your leaders to be champions of your purpose and exemplars of your values. Teach them how to be open, available and inclusive.
  • Immediately and decisively deal with behavior that is not in line with your values, especially if it occurs with someone in a leadership position.
  • Know and respect all employees as complete individuals with their own personal relationships, interests and challenges.
  • Communicate openly and inclusively, particularly regarding business or organizational issues that have the potential to adversely affect employees.
  • Encourage positive social connection and enjoyment in the workplace.
  • Provide vehicles and opportunities for all employees to have a voice.
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Why Belonging is essential to achieve peak performance

Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.

A sense of social belonging can affect motivation and continued persistence, even on impossible tasks. That is, if you don’t feel like you belong, you are both less motivated and less likely to hang in there in the face of obstacles.

From this it is clear how creating a sense of belonging in your employees can lead to huge improvements in performance that would not have otherwise been possible.

Research conducted by psychologists Geoff MacDonald at the University of Toronto and Mark R. Leary at Duke University found that when we have a sense of belonging, when we feel accepted, welcomed and included, we are more likely to experience positive emotions such as happiness, calm and satisfaction. And, as workers. we are likely to:

  • Be more productive. 
  • Be more helpful to our co-workers without the need for personal gain. 
  • Encourage and support one another. 
  • Work more cooperatively with other teams. 
  • Take fewer sick days or be late to work. 

According to Greg Stewart, Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Iowa, A sense of belonging and attachment to a group of co-workers is a better motivator for some employees than money.

Instilling  a sense of belonging in your employees is essential to both create the best work environment for your employees that you can and also to enable them to excel.