Apart from working on a diversity program, it is time to shift the focus to developing workplace cultures with a sense of belonging. With the US labour pool shrinking, and companies recording high quitting rates, they definitely need to double their effort to attract and retain talent. As people and companies continue to deal with the emotional and physical scars of the pandemic, a lot has changed in the workplace environment.
The traditional teaching methodologies no longer work. However, it is now a chance for companies to reimagine their roles and be more fair, creative, and compassionate. Though companies used to practice diversity, inclusion, and belongingness before, now the time has changed, and workplace culture needs the effort to belong.
People don’t experience diversity but a sense of belonging as individuals. Employees experience different dimensions and identity intersections, and when they don’t feel they belong, they eventually develop asocial behaviour leading to feeling tired of their work. The findings of one research study revealed that the pandemic enhanced the need for belonging, which is low right now. It also revealed that staff with low belonging are 34% lower on staying intent.
People have now started working in their silos and prefer doing that. Thus, they aim to work at a distance with minimal contact. This is why a feeling of belonging remains instilled in people to bring them close to their teams, subordinates, and company. Developing an authentic culture where people feel like they belong is the basis that every company should adopt to gain the benefits of diversity. Diversity refers to differences in culture, gender, religion, and ethnicity. While there are representation gaps in teams, the goal is to develop enduring companies that attract, retain and benefit from the vast and diverse talent pool. With belonging, it will be achievable.
According to a report, employees who feel excluded experience around a 25% fall in performance, causing a 50% higher risk of turnover. And a sense of belonging leads to a 56% rise in job performance and a 75% fall in sick leaves.
Lack of a sense of belonging at work can cause stress. Organizations that invest in coaching or mentoring work toward their employee’s benefit. As per a Gallup report, engaged employees are more than 30% more profitable, and belonging has a prominent place in engagement. Inclusive leaders make their employees feel supported and respected, leading to highly productive teams.
How coaching helps in creating an environment of belongingness?
Focusing on inclusion and diversity is not sufficient to retain employees. The workforce from all backgrounds needs a seat at the table for their effort and contribution. They want to be heard and seen. As per an EY workplace study, belongingness and diversity are significant workplace expectations. Over half of the respondents stated that diversity is best represented in their office and one-third of respondents stated that they feel a sense of belonging at work. Post the pandemic, belonging has become more critical in the workplace as more and more employees have started working hybrid or remotely.
Coaching is a great way to help companies, leaders, and the workforce develop inclusiveness and a culture of belonging. It allows teams to work in a way to help themselves and other employees feel they belong. Coaching enables teams to perform their internal analysis to know what’s needed. Once the leaders are coached, team members can speak their hearts out. Coaching, specifically, works as a perfect tool to help employees eliminate their anxieties and gain confidence.
Steps to coaching to gain a sense of belonging
Coaching your team on inclusion and belongingness is the start. It helps fellow team members work as a strong motivator, which sometimes works better than salaries and benefits. Consistent training leads to an ever-evolving team. Employees with practicing skills consistently excel, adding extra confidence and empowerment.
Create a sense of belongingness using these steps:
- Begin with a safe space: Coach the teams by starting with creating a safe space to share their mind and heart and be honest about their problems in their work. Allow employees to feel included to develop a sense of belonging.
- Regularly check on your team: employees and teams feel a lot more belonging to their work when their leaders check on them on a professional and personal level.
- Offer appreciation: Employees feel proud to work for companies with a positive culture. Coaching helps you to develop a positive workplace culture where they can be themselves and rewarded and appreciated for their effort.
- Ask for input: It is important to ask for employee feedback on the company’s functioning and gain input on fostering inclusion and belonging.
- Motivate teamwork and networking: Allow your teams to participate in wellness, inclusion, and belonging programs. It will help them learn about each other rather than always focusing on work.
Coaching works in multiple ways to promote a culture of belongingness at work. It further helps to refine your workplace culture. As leaders, you should know that you must inculcate the right standards and values in your employees. It is the duty of the coach and leader to assist their workforce in understanding the how and why of a company. Yes, companies should always work towards developing an inclusive and diverse workforce, but they also develop purpose-driven goals.
Coaching creates awareness and has a higher effect on building a culture of belongingness in a company. Coaches and leaders alike should aim to create awareness of self-needs. Active listening, asking for input, questions, and observations are formulated to provoke awareness and add a culture of belongingness.
How can uExcelerate help?
A sense of belonging is a basic need of employees, and to create a thriving workplace; you definitely have to fulfill the basics. uExcelerate’s PACE helps companies develop an inclusive and belonging culture through its DE&I program. The coaches work confidently with the employees and leaders to create a safe, inclusive, and diverse space for workers. PACE also offers a varied set of unique, tailored programs for organizations based on their requirements further leading to better performance and retention.
uExcelerate understands the requirements of companies and offers unique solutions to deliver the right programs to teams, enhancing their confidence and self-awareness. This further leads to better workplace culture and engagement.