While diversity and Inclusion have long been topics in the talent industry, belonging is also critical to this conversation and, until the last few years, has been overlooked. Employees who feel like they belong are more engaged and more committed to your organization. The trick is understanding what gives employees a sense of belonging and implementing initiatives to support it.
How to create a sense of belonging:
- Give recognition for accomplishments. This can be a little tricky because while some employees prefer public recognition, others will prefer to be recognized for their contributions through private communication. Discover what works for your employees and empower managers to recognize their employees’ work.
- Provide a safe place for employees to voice opinions. Instate meeting rules that make it clear that all participant ideas and contributions should be respected. This includes listening when attendees are talking and making sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Also, consider creating forums for employees to voice their opinions freely.
- Create an environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves at work. Encourage employees to be themselves at work, express their personalities and lead by example. This can be as simple as an executive wearing a funky pair of shoes to work. Employee resource groups can also be a benefit, as providing an organized group for employees that have similar life experiences to join can make employees feel like they belong.
- Keep employees informed about company information. Employees will feel more invested in your organization and the work they are doing if they know the vision of the organization, how the organization is performing and the initiatives underway to meet the organization’s goals. Hold quarterly company-wide meetings where these items are meaningfully discussed.
- Make employees feel like they matter as a person and not just an employee. While it’s important to acknowledge employees work contributions, it’s also important to acknowledge and celebrate employee’s personal milestones as well. Send cards for birthdays and arrange parties for big milestones like weddings and retirements.
Making employees feel like they belong can have a huge and lasting impact on your organization. You don’t have to implement big initiatives; simply making small changes can be a step in the right direction. If you missed our webinar last week about diversity, inclusion and belonging, you can find the recording here: https://youtu.be/OdoUU0iTlX0.