From a business standpoint, you want everyone working well together, taking pride in their company and feeling positive in their work environment because that directly translates to better quality output. From a human perspective, you want the same things because, well, everyone deserves to enjoy their job. People spend a good portion of their lives at work, and so workplace belonging is really a quality of life issue.
It can be easier than you think to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. This article will propose four ideas – two of which are more concrete, and two of which are more experiential – to help your business boost camaraderie and community in the workplace.
We start with a classic tactic, used by companies big and small to ensure that their employees enjoy an equitable work experience. Depending on the type of workplace you have, uniforms might not make sense (an office, for example) but you can easily adapt this idea to simply be “required attire”. What standardizing clothing does is it dissolves any socioeconomic barriers, as well as fostering a sense of company pride.
Makes Use Of Work Badges
There was a term floating around the internet not too long ago: “badge pride”. Quite simply, it involved people posting selfies with their work badge, showing off their employment and suggesting that their employment is a point of pride. This indicates that employees really do crave tangible connections to their work, and something as simple as an ID card for work can be what allows the employee to express his/her sense of belonging. And it’s inexpensive to implement; you just need a new ID card printer and some cards and you’ve got a surefire token of belonging. Oh, and it keeps your workplace secure too!
Hold Team Building Events
How can you expect teammates to get along if all day, every day, they’re sectioned off and working independently? You can’t. That’s why team building excursions are completely necessary to the functioning of a workplace – it fosters a sense among employees that “they’re in it together”, and will help facilitate each other’s success. When employees work for themselves alone, you get a team in conflict, but when employees work towards common goals – goals you can establish through team building – you get a much more effective workplace.
Have Regular Discussion Periods
Sometimes, a sense of belonging is directly correlated to the feeling that you “have a voice” in your workplace. To that end, management should try and host regular discussion periods, where communicating about work is encouraged, whether it be questions about processes, concerns about procedures, etc.Giving your employees a voice allows them to feel a more intimate connection to the company, because they feel as if they have a stake in making it better.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to approach employee belonging. Whether you go the physical route, with uniforms and ID cards, the experiential route with team building and discussion, or a mixture of both, you’re going to see an improvement in employee morale and satisfaction.