As different companies continue to adapt to the coron virus epidemic, there are other challenges and issues that need to be addressed. One of them is the issue of feeling belonging. Many managers, shareholders, and business leaders around the world today call for the elimination of discrimination in the workplace between different employees, regardless of race or gender; An environment that anyone can feel a sense of belonging to. In this article, we talk about the sense of belonging, its benefits and challenges, as well as ways to expand it in the organization.
The need to create a sense of belonging in the organization
A sense of belonging is one of the basic human needs. Psychologists associate this feeling with the need to love. Because the need to belong is a fundamental feeling, talking about it can bring all groups in the workplace together for change. When organizations emphasize creating an equal environment for all, they are in fact focusing on shared human values and seeking to foster empathy and solidarity by creating inter-organizational dialogue between different members.
Challenges of creating a sense of belonging in the organization
But despite the need to understand the issue, creating a work environment that respects diversity and creates a sense of belonging is not an easy task. For example, whenever an attempt is made to eliminate discrimination against one group, the other group may see its own interests at stake and think that these efforts will reduce its position. For example, the efforts of the leaders of the organization to create a suitable environment for women may make others think that something is to be deducted from them and added to women.
Recognizing the sense of belonging in the organization, the precondition for its creation
In order to create a culture of belonging in the workplace and benefit the employer and the employee, the leaders of the organization must first have a precise and clear definition of this concept. Achieving such an understanding requires a quantitative measure of one’s sense of belonging. So we need to define measurable criteria and measure our sense of belonging based on that.
Two American researchers, Julia Taylor Kennedy and Pooja Jain-Link, have done just that. After conducting various researches, they came to a clear definition of the sense of belonging.
According to them, we feel belonging to the environment in which we work when:
- Due to our role and influence See you;
- With other people Communicate;
- In performing daily tasks and going through the career path, Get help;
- From the goals and values of the organization Feel proud.
The benefit of creating a sense of belonging in the organization
Regardless of human values, what effect does creating this sense in the workplace have on the organization? The two researchers named in the previous section surveyed thousands of employed graduates and interviewed hundreds of them. They found that a sense of belonging can play a key role in the growth and development of an organization.
How to create a sense of belonging in the organization?
Although creating a sense of belonging in the workplace is challenging, the good news is that moving toward building such an environment can bring different groups in the workplace together with organizational leaders. For example, the findings of these two researchers show us that men who believe in equality in the workplace work harder than others to achieve this goal. Accompanying these efforts to change the work environment and spread the culture of equality and belonging seems to be part of their citizenship values.
All of us, employees, employers, managers and leaders of the organization, can take positive steps to create and expand a sense of belonging in the organization. Here are some steps:
1. As an organization, focus on creating patterns
Employees are seen, heard and supported when they feel proud of their values when they see the same desirable qualities in their leaders. As an organization, invest in leaders who talk, feel, and strive for a sense of belonging and are a role model in the organization.
2. Be a pioneer as a senior manager
As a senior manager, take the lead in implementing the values of the organization and developing a sense of belonging and equality among all employees; for example:
- Form working groups with dissimilar members;
- Share your personal experiences with subordinates, in which working with different groups and benefiting from their potential has made you successful;
- Be a role model by seeing and hearing the opinions and ideas of everyone, especially those who have less sense of belonging;
- Be clearly committed to values and strive to communicate sincerely with everyone in every category of the organization.
3. Be a responsible, appreciative and empowering manager
Managers are the flagships of an organization’s values; So they are the pioneers in making any change in the organization. To promote a sense of belonging in the workplace, appreciate the efforts of employees, give them effective and honest feedback, and address their concerns. For example, email all members before the end of a project. Show them that their work is valuable and important to you.
4. As a colleague, respect, support and give feedback
Members of an organization feel more belonging when their co-workers value their work. At the same time, receiving feedback from co-workers doubles their sense of belonging. When one sees that one’s work is being noticed and criticized by others, one will surely feel better than being in an environment where one does not realize the importance of one’s work and does not pay attention to it.
According to research, someone has a sense of belonging to the organization whose role in advancing the goals of the organization is seen and appreciated. Creating this feeling not only benefits employees but also benefits the organization in advancing its goals.
To create and expand a sense of belonging in the workplace, everyone must work: from leaders and senior managers to employees at various levels. Creating such a feeling is not easy for everyone, but moving towards it can bring different working groups together. By adopting practical approaches at different levels of the organization, this feeling can be strengthened among members.
As a member of your company or organization, do you have a sense of belonging? How do you think this will affect your job satisfaction? Do the managers and leaders of your organization try to create a sense of belonging?