Belonging is a fundamental human need that naturally extends to the workplace. According to the Center for Talent Innovation, when employees feel they belong in their workplace, they’re 3.5 times more likely to be functioning at their full potential. It’s important for employers to turn their attention to workplace culture and belonging to help retain and attract employees.

What Is Belonging?
Belonging is a significant aspect of workplace culture. At its core, belonging is the experience of employees being fully accepted and included by co-workers. A sense of belonging creates the feeling of comfort, connection and contribution that support daily interactions in the workplace. Having a collective of employees that feel they belong in the workplace comes with several long-term advantages, including:

  • Improved employee performance
  • Boosted employee engagement
  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Decreased employee turnover
  • Enhanced workforce experiences
  • Strengthened workplace culture
  • Elevated employer branding 

Employee belonging impacts wellness and happiness, but also affects engagement, motivation and retention. That’s why many organizations rethinking their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts often add a renewed focus on belonging. Outside of these initiatives, a focus on belonging can play a critical role in improving workplace culture. 

How to Create Workplace Belonging
Managers and supervisors have the most influence on workplace belonging. They can foster a sense of belonging in the workplace with the following tips:

  • 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. This can be part of an ongoing dialogue.
  • Give employees a voice. Managers can aid in encouraging employees to speak up and share their thoughts. For example, if someone has the floor but is being interrupted, managers can step in to moderate and let the original speaker continue. Alternatively, if an employee rarely speaks up, managers can check in with this individual privately to ask how they can be better included in team conversations.
  • Create a psychologically safe space. Being psychologically safe means employees feel secure in taking risks and being vulnerable in front of others. Managers should intervene if they see others being disrespectful.

It’s human nature—people want to feel like they belong and are accepted for who they are. In the workplace, an isolated employee can become disengaged and have negative perceptions of their work environment and job dissatisfaction.

Feel free to reach out to us to seek assistance with any workplace guidance. We look forward to supporting your needs and contributing to the success of your organization.