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3 Ways to Create a Culture of Belonging at Work

Two African American women talking and taking notes

Belonging is the feeling of being accepted for who you are, recognized for your unique contributions, and connected to people and purpose. You feel you belong when you feel like you are part of a community that values you.

Our sense of belonging helps give our lives meaning, and the same is especially true within our workplaces. We all want to feel happy at work and make sure we are creating an environment in which everyone feels welcomed.

3 Ways to Foster Belonging in the Workplace

A strong sense of workplace belonging results in deeper feelings of satisfaction, engagement, and morale at work. Interested in fostering feelings of belonging on your team or in your workplace but not sure where to start? Read on for inspiration.

Develop enriching relationships with team members

Building positive relationships with colleagues is an important part of your experience at work — the average person spends more time with their colleagues than with most of their family members! Investing in creating lasting connections with your team members can reap serious benefits, including increased productivity, improved morale, heightened productivity, and more enriching collaboration.

Already have a good relationship with your team members? Consider reaching out to people in different departments! Though it might feel a little weird, it’s perfectly normal to reach out to colleagues on other teams to introduce yourself and suggest grabbing (virtual or in-person) coffee.

Examine your ability to be vulnerable

The ability to be vulnerable lays the foundation for more meaningful relationships. That being said, letting your guard down can be difficult, especially in the workplace. A lot of us have been taught to keep a friendly yet professional distance with our colleagues and project confidence above all else.

When people show their vulnerability and allow others to do the same, they feel more comfortable, develop stronger social bonds, and are willing to take risks at work knowing they won’t be judged. To practice being vulnerable, try opening up to your manager about a mistake you made at work or asking a colleague for feedback on an assignment.

Develop avenues for successful and collaborative communication

Collaboration can be one of the most effective ways to solve problems in the workplace. The best way to find innovative solutions to complex challenges is to brainstorm with colleagues with different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas.

Teams can solve problems more efficiently and effectively when they collaborate. Foster collaboration with colleagues by leveraging available channels of communication. Reach out to a team member you haven’t spoken to a while over chat or email and ask how work has been going. Think about projects you have in your pipeline and brainstorm opportunities to work together with a colleague with complementary skills. Lastly, try being open and communicative during team meetings. Casual interactions like these can often lead to opportunities for collaboration.

Curious for more? Check your My Belonging page for connection-based nudges that can help you foster connections with your colleagues.

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