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The Value of Belonging in the Workplace

Belonging is a critical component of company culture. At work, belonging is the experience of employees being wholly accepted and included by those around them.

A Deloitte report ranked belonging as the top human capital issue organizations face today. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents said fostering a sense of belonging was essential to promote company success, with 93% agreeing that a sense of belonging drives organizational performance.

Employees’ sense of belonging is how organizations can foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities for these workers and how they feel like members of the broader world. Belonging impacts how employees feel accepted and comfortable being themselves and contributing to their organizations’ shared goals. Ultimately, employers can elevate their workforce experiences by creating spaces where employees feel they belong.

A sense of belonging requires the following mutually reinforcing attributes:

  • Comfort—Employees should feel comfortable at work, necessitating being treated fairly and respected by their co-workers and leaders.

  • Connection—Employees should feel they have meaningful relationships with co-workers and teams, keeping them connected to organizational goals.

  • Contribution—Employees should feel they contribute to meaningful outcomes, understanding how their strengths help achieve common goals.

Many workplace factors can impact employees’ sense of belonging, including company culture, benefits offerings, communication methods, and mental health support.

Benefits of Belonging

Belonging isn’t just beneficial for employees but for organizations, too. Specifically, creating a sense of belonging in the workplace can offer the following advantages:

  • Improved employee performance

  • Boosted employee engagement

  • Reduced employee absences

  • Decreased employee turnover

  • Enhanced workforce experiences

  • Strengthened workplace culture

  • Elevated employer branding

Employee belonging impacts wellness and happiness and affects engagement, motivation, and retention.

How Employers Can Foster Belonging

Here are some common ways managers can foster a sense of belonging in the workplace:

  • Check-in with employees. Regular one-on-one meetings can help employees feel a greater sense of belonging when their managers and co-workers check in on them personally and professionally.

  • Ask for input. It’s essential for managers to continually ask employees what they can do to promote belonging and make employees feel accepted.

  • Give employees a voice. Employers can aid in encouraging employees to speak up and share their thoughts.

  • Offer multiple health plans. By offering different health plans, you can cater to the diverse needs of your workforce. Working with a company like NY Small Health can help you to find the best plan for your unique business needs.

Leaders are responsible for building trust and acceptance, which will help create safe spaces for employees. In addition, thoughtful belonging efforts can bolster the overall employee experience by allowing staff to bring their authentic selves to work. By using these tips, your employees will be happier high-performers.

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