When a company goes through a change, whether that be following a merger and acquisition or simply when a business evolves, it should be an exciting and rewarding journey for leaders and employees.
If not managed and communicated properly, however, this period of transformation can be an unsettling process filled with uncertainty and apprehension, as individuals attempt to understand how they fit into this new picture.
People thrive when they have a strong sense of purpose, something which they feel personally and emotionally attached to. In order to create this, it’s important to help employees feel that they belong, that they feel connected to both their personal goals and understand how this fits into an organisation’s wider aims.
Here, we look at the importance of creating a culture of belonging in your workplace and how you can achieve it.
The bigger picture A sense of belonging is a fundamental need in people. It’s when a person feels valued, connected with others around them through a shared vision and goal. At work, it’s when employees connect their 'why' with that of the business.
Workplace belonging has been found to increase job performance and satisfaction, while lowering employee turnover and the number of sick days taken. So, fostering a culture of belonging at work is not just a ‘nice to have’ thing, it’s something that considerably affects business outcomes. How to do it?
As we’ve mentioned, a key part of creating a culture of belonging is connecting an individual to their sense of purpose. Linking what a person does daily to their work's impact on other people and in the broader world is crucial to helping unlock their energy, agility, and camaraderie. Everyone takes in information in different ways and at different rates. A transformation and change campaign should therefore look to deliver information across a wide range of platforms including internal documentaries, podcasts, workshops and events.
Through a combination of these methods, employees will begin to understand the overall vision of the organisation and how they fit into that. Shared experiences will also give opportunities to bond as a team, something that can really help bolster a feeling of belonging.
Moving forward As the company progresses and settles down after the period of transformation, remember that fostering this sense of belonging is an ongoing process. Continue to check back in with employees and arrange regular events and activations to ensure that individuals stay connected to their mission.
Transformation is a positive thing. If a company can bring its employees with them on the journey and make them feel engaged and valued throughout the transition period and beyond, it will inevitably have a positive impact on the performance of the business.
For more tips, download our guide to Activation Transformation and Change here.