Belonging is a fundamental human need, and since work is where many of us spend the majority of our day, it makes sense that we need to feel like we belong in that space. But many of us do not feel as though we belong, for a huge variety of reasons. Here are just some of the ways workplace belonging is important for both employee wellness and the success of a company:
Belonging is good for business
We all want our companies to succeed because it means job security and advancement opportunities, but what we don’t often think about is the way a company’s culture can contribute to its success. When workers feel like they belong, companies will often make more money. Belonging at work has been shown to increase job performance by as much as 56%, as well as contributing to a 75% reduction in sick days. This higher commitment to work leads to higher profits and success for everyone!
Exclusion causes people to sabotage
Workplace inclusion can lead to significant financial gain for a company, and conversely having employees that feel excluded can lead to significant financial losses. When staff feel excluded they are likely not to work as hard, to take more sick days, and to care less about the outcomes they are working towards. Feeling excluded causes people to give less effort to their team and their role.
The effects of exclusion are not permanent
There have been many experiments conducted regarding workplace exclusion and how to reverse the negative effects, and the results have been promising. Mentorship programs where team members can both mentor and be mentored show a great increase in feelings of inclusion.
Empowerment programs, where staff members were invited to participate in planning how they would change their work experience to make it more inclusive. If staff members can be included in the conversation at a higher level, that leads to a greater overall feeling of exclusivity.
How can organisations create a workplace of belonging?
Research shows that there are ways to create a culture of belonging by making it a part of company values and working consistently to ensure inclusion goals are met. New members of the company especially must be supported to succeed, and the company must commit to programs that foster belonging. When this is done well a company and its employees can benefit enormously.
Here is a great resource from Culture Amp. 6 ways to foster belonging in the workplace.