The Value of Belonging

Greetings Leaders,

How connected are the people in your department feeling these days? With team structures such as remote, hybrid, and blended becoming more permanent in work, one’s sense of connection – and feelings of belonging – might not be as strong at the moment as they need to be.

Survey results published by Deloitte Insights indicated that seventy-nine percent of organizations say fostering a sense of belonging in the workforce is important or very important for their success over the next 12 to 18 months. Ninety-three percent also agreed that a sense of belonging drives organizational performance. Belonging is indeed a critical human capital issue. Perhaps even more importantly, it is also a very personal need.

Remember that belonging is much more than a sense of feeling welcomed. That is just the beginning. People must also feel psychologically safe as well as able to contribute to something meaningful. They must feel accepted by other team members as worthy of being part of the team. It is hard enough to get to a place of belonging when joining a new team in any circumstance. When working remote and interacting in a mostly virtual way, it can become even more difficult.

So leaders, pay attention to this. You do not need research to know what it feels like to be the proverbial duck out of water. At those times, the voices in your head are all about the awkwardness you feel, and thus distracting you from doing your best work. That is why you need to have the “sense of belonging” conversations more frequently with everyone. It may seem obvious with new hires, who likely experienced a rather unconventional onboarding process. However, make sure you do not ignore the folks who have also been around a while. They, too, may be feeling more isolated and disconnected in today’s environment.

All the best.



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