17 May 3 Tips for Building a Sense of Belonging in The Workplace
There is ample evidence that driving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is important in the workplace. Since humans all have a fundamental desire for belonging, it is imperative to help employees feel accepted, secure, supported, and to have a sense of belonging at work. If your employees don't feel connected, they will most likely be unable to reach their full potential.
This often leads to higher turnover, and many organizations are already dealing with challenges hiring and retaining employees. However, when a focus is placed on inclusion and belonging it can lead to dramatic improvements in talent retention, as noted in our recent Webinar. If you’re wondering where you should get started fostering change in your organization, keep reading for our top 3 tips to build a sense of belonging in your workplace.
Connect With Your Employees
Personally sharing office news with your employees, regardless of their role or position, will make them feel more connected to your organization. Whether remotely or onsite, your employees deserve to know about the goals and challenges your organization may be experiencing. Keeping employees well-informed helps everyone see the big picture, so they can better support the goals of the company.
In addition to connecting with employees, it is also important to give credit where credit is due. Acknowledging employees makes them confident and boosts their productivity. The truth is that workers will be inspired to work harder when their work is being appreciated. Additionally, other employees who witness a co-worker’s recognized accomplishments are motivated to do their best.
It’s important to note that one of the most essential best practices for employee engagement is public acknowledgment and appreciation, which in turn increases employee connections. When the team is connected, it fosters an atmosphere of openness and trust.
Encourage Employees to Be Open
Once you build a connection with employees, encourage them to share their ideas openly. This requires that you create a psychologically safe space. Be sure to acknowledge their ideas to boost their confidence.
If they are uncomfortable expressing themselves, try motivating them by asking for feedback on specific suggestions. Who knows, maybe someone has an idea that fundamentally alters your organization for the better.
There will be a lot of differences in perspectives and approaches, which is perfectly normal in a diverse environment, and can also be beneficial.
To engage employees in a positive and meaningful way, encourage them to show off hidden skills and talents. If they make a presentation or share an idea, be sure to listen, ask questions, provide feedback, and receive their inputs as well. Be sure to avoid any unintended mocking or other reactions from occurring when connecting and engaging, as it will have a long-term chilling effect in the environment and will make it very difficult to establish trust that is essential to connecting.
Having a growth mindset is important. Share your thoughts and plans openly. This includes being open to others' feedback to you, attempting to comprehend your own unconscious biases, learning and being aware of your interactions with others. Being intentional and making a conscious effort towards learning how to help others feel a sense of belonging is what makes all the difference.
Be sure to respect others and recognize their contributions to the company. People will feel more at home and secure in the workplace as a result, which will benefit you and the organization in the long run.
Finally, be aware that developing a positive culture of belonging takes time. Organizations must foster a sense of psychological safety and build trust and confidence, while nurturing an inclusive, diverse and equity driven workplace culture. Building a sense of workplace belonging depends in large part on employees who are authentic at work, have strong team bonds, and are inclusive leaders.
The most crucial thing is to be open-minded, pay attention to what your team members need, provide feedback, and take action, as needed.