Developing a “Sense of Belonging” at Work

Above and beyond pay and benefits, people can derive a great deal of satisfaction from the feeling of belonging that they can get at work – and that can contribute in a major way to a higher level of employee morale.

Not only is the workplace a place where employees can make constructive contributions (by doing their job well). It’s also a place where they have a chance to engage with others, help them out, work toward a common goal and see the positive results of their pitching in.

Of course, the challenge for any organization is how to create an atmosphere in which people can develop a sense of belonging. Much of this depends on the skills and personalities of the people involved, but it can be enhanced by fostering a sense of teamwork (by rewarding team accomplishments) and by making sure that employee contributions that foster the success of coworkers are recognized.

Both supervisors and employees can take a proactive role in acknowledging contributions of others – by offering a simple “thank you,” providing a note of appreciation, giving a small gift, and/or taking advantage of internal rewards systems.