Cultivating Organizational Belonging
Belonging and connection are essential needs for humans to thrive.
The Great Resignation was brought on in part by a mass sense of disconnection from people’s places of work, from the meaning that could have been derived from work, and by the loss of a sense of teamwork.
The remedy for disconnection is to form deep, real connections. Connection is the bond of energy that can exist between people. When people feel acknowledged, seen, heard, and valued, they feel a sense of connection and belonging.
Any discussion around belonging inside an organization must begin with acknowledging that it is a non-negotiable need for all people.
In a safe environment that provides a sense of robust connection, people feel safe enough to give and receive without judgment. Their connections create sustenance and strength inside one-on-one and group relationships. They’re more likely to offer ideas in meetings, challenge assumptions, be collaborative, innovate with enthusiasm, and have healthy, respectful debates within their teams.
Leaders can foster a sense of true connection with these five steps:
1. Committed Leadership. Leaders need to be fully committed to taking action and communicating their intention to create a culture of connection.
2. Define what Safety and Courage Looks Like. Set the foundation for what belonging conversations can feel like at your organization. Team leaders should decide this collectively. These are listening and learning conversations; not fix or solve the problem conversations.
3. Campaign of Listening and Learning. Create safe and courageous conversations by asking team members what they need to feel safe. Capture and bottle this recipe.
4. Capture Your Belonging Rituals. After you’ve distilled what the team learned, capture and create a belonging rituals recipe. Then test it. Train the team on your belonging rituals. Infuse your belonging ritual recipe into your employee journey, daily meetings, and crucial conversations.
5. Repeat and Continue Listening. All skill-building requires repetition and not every recipe is perfect the first time. To exercise belonging competency, you have to practice regularly. And, you must continue to listen, learn, and improve your capacity and skillset to create belonging.
Fostering a true sense of belonging and connection in your organization will reap many benefits. Team members become happier and more committed, and their good energy spills over into how your customers, vendors and other stakeholders experience your business. Magic starts with belonging.
If you want a more trusting team, a culture of belonging or a magnetic brand that attracts more of the right customers, I can help. If you'd like to explore if working together makes sense, drop me a line.