Are you still trying to decode the complicated challenge of employee engagement in your organization? Have you done well to reap the tangible business benefits of high employee engagement? As per Forbes, organizations with high employee engagement can drive 21 percent higher profitability. That does sound amazing for sure. However, it is also true that not all organizations have been successful in cultivating the kind of engagement that can effectively contribute to business success.
To substantiate, as per Gallup, not more than 36 percent of US workers are engaged in their work. This explains why organizations are now keen on looking at some novel and unique strategies for promoting greater engagement.
However, Cultivating strong workplace belongingness in employees can help you achieve exemplary levels of employee engagement. It is vital to ask here, what is workplace belonging and how can it help organizations unleash scalable engagement?
In this blog, we find answers to these questions that will help you understand how creating a strong sense of belonging among employees can be the key to employee engagement. To begin with, let us delineate the concept of workplace belonging.
Defining Workplace Belongingness
In the workplace, employees feel different kinds of emotions that reflect their commitment, behavior, and confidence. Among these feelings and emotions, the sense of belongingness that they feel for their organization is important for you as a leader to assess. In simple terms, workplace belongingness explains how accepted and valued your employees feel in the workplace.
When employees carry a strong sense of belonging, they manifest the belief that they deserve to be in the workplace and are valuable to the organization. Furthermore, this sense of belonging also influences the kind of emotional affection they feel for their employers and organizations. Simply put, when your employees feel a strong sense of belonging, they will have greater loyalty. Besides, they will see their individual success in correlation with organizational growth.
Now that we are on the same page regarding what workplace belonging signifies, let us understand its implications. The subsequent section elucidates the various ways in which workplace belonging can boost employee engagement.
5 ways workplace belonging can enhance employee engagement
Enhances confidence and performance
Let’s start this discussion with a simple question you must think about as a leader. Will your employees give their best unless they feel confident enough in the workplace? Needless to say, confidence is the foundation of exceptional performances. In fact, your employees’ self-belief and morale blend together to reflect the overall confidence that your organization carries.
But what do you think is essential for them to feel confident enough? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Your employees will feel optimistic when they feel valued in the organization. Confidence comes with acceptance and as a leader, it is your responsibility to make your employees feel accepted for their individuality, skills, talents, and opinions.
When you successfully promote that kind of confidence in them, performance levels are bound to go up. Can you perform exceptionally well despite the fact that you are not very confident about it? Certainly, the chances are quite bleak, to be fair. Having said that, you need to promote greater belongingness in your employees to channel their confidence in the right way.
The bottom line is that confidence and performance complement each other. When employees feel valued, they will feel the constant urge to raise the bar of performance and offer greater value to the organization.
To substantiate, Deloitte research reveals that a strong sense of workplace belonging among employees can increase their job performance by 56 percent. The report further highlights that workplace belonging can also lead to a 50 percent decline in employee turnover. Clearly, workplace belonging holds the key to workplace motivation.
Did you know that? Well, now you do and you must act on it to boost your company’s engagement scenarios.
Brings down absenteeism
Absenteeism is quite a realistic and credible metric of employee management, engagement, and satisfaction. Looking at the broader perspective, there could be multiple and subjective reasons for high absenteeism in an organization. Among these reasons, a desolate feeling of belongingness in the workplace is surely considerable.
To explain, employees will only want to come to a workplace if they feel that strong sense of association and belonging. Otherwise, they can choose from a wide spectrum of excuses to make for not attending the office. Besides, when they have a strong sense of belongingness, they will understand their responsibility better. Consequently, they will not keep things hanging by taking arbitrary leaves.
Assessing further, there is a proven inverse relationship between workplace belonging and absenteeism. Research suggests that by promoting a strong sense of workplace belongingness, organizations can reduce sick days by 75 percent.
The lower the absenteeism rate in your organization, the higher will be the engagement. So, create a workplace people would love to be a part of on a daily basis. Give your employees a workplace that inspires the best in them every day. For that, it is essential to foster powerful feelings of belongingness among employees that enable them to contribute more proactively.
Promotes greater trust
As per Harvard Business Review, trust and employee engagement have a direct correlation. This correlation is explained through the following insights.
- Employees in high trust companies exhibit 76 percent higher engagement and 50 percent higher productivity. Also, employees manifest 106 percent higher energy levels when trust is embedded in the natural virtue in the organizational culture.
- In organizations that cultivate trust, employees express 29 percent higher satisfaction
- In companies where there is high trust between co-workers, burnout rates are 40 percent lower and the stress levels are 76 percent lower.
It is amazing how a single virtue of trust can lead an organization to incredible things. What we need to figure out is the correlation between workplace belonging and trust. Acceptance is the basis of trust and this will always remain an undeniable fact.
When employees feel accepted, valued, and appreciated, they trust their co-workers with greater ease. This is how belongingness proves to be imperative for positive workplace relationships that can drive high engagement.
With high trust, people collaborate better and steer their organizations to new horizons of success. Are you willing to go that extra mile to create high trust in your organization? As a leader, you need to lead by example
Cultivates better inclusiveness
Inclusion and diversity are among the most significant trends in the contemporary workplace. Organizations are more eager than ever before to embrace the virtues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. However, for that, hiring a diverse workforce may not be sufficient.
To get the best out of your diverse workforce, you need to incorporate inclusion as a natural virtue into your company’s culture. This is where creating a strong sense of workplace belonging among your employees can be of great help.
When you foster an inspiring sense of workplace belonging, you include your employees in the decision-making process and empower them to share their perspectives. Or to look at it the other way, when employees carry that feeling of belongingness, they feel like contributing more. In this zeal to add more value to the organization, they come up with innovative ideas and creative insights that can be of great value to any organization.
In fact, in the highly competitive business world, you need to innovate at every level to sustain your competitive advantages. What better than a workforce that feels excited every day to bring innovative and creative ideas to the floor? You can literally draw great value from a workforce that does not shy away from taking initiative.
By promoting a greater sense of belonging among your employees, you can also inspire greater creative liberty among your employees. This creative liberty will become the basis of a massive hike in employee engagement levels.
All in all, creating a sense of belonging in your workforce can lead to greater inclusiveness in multifarious ways. Further, this increased inclusiveness will lead to higher engagement in the workplace in multiple ways.
Leads to a more resilient workforce
In the contemporary corporate world, the skill of resilience has immeasurable value. In the last few years, daunting challenges such as COVID-19 pandemic have tested businesses to their core. Organizations that were resilient enough to these changes survived, while others went out of business..
Resilience has become a sought-after skill in the modern workplace. It also complements engagement in a direct way. When employees are resilient, they stay upbeat even in the face of adverse challenges.
As a leader, You would want your employees to have exemplary resilience at all times. But what does it take to inspire resilience among employees?
Employees will give their best to stand by their organizations when there is a powerful sense of belongingness. Why would they want to face all kinds of challenges for their organizations unless they are convinced that they are a valuable asset to the company? Therefore, it is correct to say that by promoting belongingness among your employees, you can make them more resilient and hence, boost engagement.
To encapsulate, there are multidimensional benefits linked to encouraging a strong sense of workplace belongingness among employees. When you help your employees build a deeper connection with your organization, they feel valued and empowered to bring out the best in them. Especially, when it comes to a diverse workforce, working on fostering a sense of belongingness among employees seems far more essential. As a leader, your ability to inspire belongingness among your employees holds the key to driving high employee engagement.
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer’s thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at ‘The Speakingnerd’. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.