How to Create a Sense of Belonging at Work
Most people spend about ⅓ of their life at work. Given that large amount of time, it makes sense that people want to feel they belong and a sense of purpose at their jobs. A new study found that 40% of employees feel isolated at work. Employees who feel this way tend to be less motivated and less engaged at work.
When employees feel like they belong, their job satisfaction and productivity increases. Consider the following tips on how to create a sense of belonging for all your employees:
Recognize Employees for Their Accomplishments and Uniqueness- Employees want to know that their hard work is appreciated. Tell them when they do a great job and how they added value to a project. Employees want to know that you are paying attention to them. Intentionally tailor messages and point out their unique contributions to the company or their work.
Get to Know Them on a Personal Level- I had a friend say the other day “they don’t even know me here.” People want to be their authentic selves at work. Ask them what they do for fun, know their hobbies and interests. This shows you care about them as a person and not just as an employee.
Create a Social Environment- Proximity and personal interactions contribute greatly to social bonds. The more you are around someone, the more favorable they are to you and the more comfortable you become. Set up team brainstorming sessions outside of daily work or a forum for people to ask for help. Give people office mates or host weekly team lunches. Find new ways to get people to interact.
When employees feel included they tend to go above and beyond for their teammates and the company. They want to give new ideas and see the company succeed. Create an environment where your employees can be themselves and the bottom line will benefit.
More time? Find out more research on the importance of belonging here.