Three Ways to Increase Belonging at Work

We can all agree that the world of work is moving faster now than it ever has before because of the technological advancements in the past months, years, and decades. And while this technology has undoubtedly made us more efficient and productive, it also has at times blurred the lines between work and life, and studies are now suggesting that we are more alone now than ever before. So begs the question; in a world that is more connected than we’ve ever seen, have we ever been this connected?

Harvard Business Review put out a fascinating article late 2017 that suggested that 40% of corporate America is feeling alone. Pair that astounding statistic with the fact that we’re checking our phones 85+ times a day and spending 11 hours a day in front of a screen and there is no doubt we’re feeling alone and isolated. When it comes to building teams though, consider these ideas to really bring people together and increase a sense of belonging both in and outside of the office.

1)   We need to be shifting our culture initiatives from being reactive to proactive.

For years we’ve been led to believe that engagement and culture is what we fix. It isn’t. What we really need to consider is how to change the components that lead to culture and engagement. That is, belonging, trust, well-being, and alignment. What about culture fit? Read on.

2)   Recognize that culture fit isn’t what we’re looking for, it is experiential alignment. 

Often I ask to describe what it means to fit with the culture and too often I hear that workplaces are full of integrity, honour, respect, motivated, team-driven players, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a team like that? The realization we need to make though, it that these statements are table stakes and if we can start to talk about the experience at work (number of emails, meetings, time spent at work, team composition, office design, total rewards, etc.) we can differentiate our companies and teams from those who we might be competing with.

3)   Measure more than just Diversity and Inclusion.

 Sure we might have a diverse and inclusive organization, and sure we might measure it, but outside of a brochure, job description, and fancy website, do our people really feel like they belong? This is where the opportunity really lies. If we can start measuring sense of belonging and trust and act on what our people say, the hard work is done for us and we can simply react.

the best way to increase deeper human connection is to slow dow

In a world that is moving faster than it ever has before, usually the best way to increase deeper human connection is to slow down. It isn’t about generations, hair colours, or skills, it is about being and working with people where we can unapologetically be our full selves and the best we can be.