At some point in their career, most people have asked the question, ‘Do I really belong here?’. Whether it is for reasons of skill or culture, a lack of belonging can have mental health and wellness effects on any employee, which is why it is so important to foster it from a management perspective. Let’s look at three key ways to achieve this.

Use inclusion methods

The number 1 thing that any manager can do to foster inclusion is to do so in the literal sense of the word – include your team in decision making, and do so as deliberately as possible. For example, not only should you hold group meetings where people are free to speak, but you also should try to solicit opinions directly from everyone. By doing this, you offer people the chance to put forward their opinion in a non-confrontational way, which is part of being inclusive, since some people aren’t going to be as forthright in providing their input.

Clearly communicate vision and mission

Belonging can also be started from the recruitment phase, by having a clear and communicated vision and mission for your organisation. This includes both communicating it in the recruitment material (such as a Seek advertisement), but also by asking pertinent questions during the interview process. By having this clarity, you can recruit people who share that same vision, which is going to assist in belonging. It’s harder to feel like you belong to an organisation that is doing the opposite of what you believe!

Get in touch

Exclusion from anything, whether in your work or in your personal life, creates a feeling of vulnerability. As a manager with a duty to take care of your employees’ wellbeing, both from a moral and organisational perspective, fostering belonging can give key benefits. This can be done through a variety of means, such as being deliberately inclusive, having a clear vision, as well as fostering allies in your organisation. Be sure to reach out to management if you have any questions.

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