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    How to Create an Organizational Culture of Belonging


    “Like on a sports team, people at work don’t want to just be liked, they want to feel needed. If the team wins, they want to feel like they played an important role in the success.” – Gallup

    Building an organizational culture of belonging can help foster synergy among team members, allow ideas to thrive, and drive innovation over the long run. A recent study on belonging and organizations conducted by BetterUp Research found that a work culture of belonging is linked to: 

    • 56% increase in job performance 
    • 50% drop in turnover
    • 75% reduction in sick days

    To experience these benefits, organizational leaders must encourage the free sharing of ideas, employee autonomy, fairness in decision-making, and in the distribution of rewards. 

    What is Belonging In the Workplace?

    Belonging in the workplace is an employee’s sense that they feel welcome in their organization, that their contribution is valued, and their colleagues respect them.

    “The need to be needed is an individual’s sense of significance rooted in the sense of being part of a community or cause beyond themselves. The need to be needed is one of our fundamental desires. We want to feel significant in the eyes of others, even if it is only one other person.” – Steve Rose, PHD

    What is an Organizational Culture of Belonging?

    An organizational culture of belonging means that employees feel respected, welcomed, and valued. It’s a culture that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and where individuals are encouraged to say their opinions, share knowledge, and experiences to contribute to the organization’s success.

    Steps to Creating a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace

    A culture of belonging has a direct impact on the success of the organization. Employees who feel a sense of belonging are more motivated, engaged, and committed to achieving the company’s goals. These team members are willing to go the extra mile, take ownership of their work, and contribute to the organization’s long-term success. 

    I) Onboarding: Belonging Starts on Day One

    An organizational culture of belonging means that employees feel respected, welcomed, and valued. It’s a culture that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and where individuals are encouraged to say their opinions, share knowledge, and experiences to contribute to the organization’s success.

    II) Ensuring Managers Treat Employees Fairly.

    The principle of fairness is a crucial element in creating a culture of belonging in the workplace. When employees are treated fairly, it sends a powerful message that their contributions and voices are valued and respected. 

    III) Involving Employees in Decisions that Impact their Work

    When employees are involved in decisions that affect their work, it empowers them to take ownership and responsibility for their roles. They feel a sense of autonomy and control over their work, which enhances their engagement and commitment. This empowerment facilitates a work environment wherein employees know their opinions and contributions matter. 

    VI) Encouraging Transparency via Communication & Decision Making

    When leaders openly share information about company policies, decisions, and plans, it eliminates speculation and reduces uncertainty. In this environment, employees feel they are part of a transparent and trustworthy environment, enhancing their sense of belonging. They can rely on the organization to provide accurate and consistent information, fostering a culture of openness and authenticity. 

    V) Applying Fairness in the Distribution of Rewards & Recognition

    Fair Distribution of rewards and recognition provide a sense of purpose and encourages employees to continue performing at their best. It also demonstrates that every individual’s contributions are valued and acknowledged. What’s more, it promotes a sense of equity, and that everyone has an equal opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions.

    Making Remote Employees Feel like they Belong

    Tips for Making Remote Employees Feel like they Belong

    Communicate Regularly

    Communication is vital for remote teams to create a sense of belonging.

    • Regularly check in with remote employees through various channels such as video calls, instant messaging, and virtual team meetings.
    • Encourage open and transparent communication to maintain solid connections and ensure remote employees feel connected to their colleagues and the organization. 

    Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork

    • Encourage collaboration by providing opportunities for remote employees to work together on projects, share ideas, and contribute their unique perspectives.
    • Use collaboration tools and platforms to facilitate virtual teamwork and create a sense of shared purpose and achievement. 

    Create a Virtual Culture

    Building a positive and inclusive culture is essential for remote employees to feel like they belong.

    • Foster a supportive and respectful environment where remote employees feel comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their thoughts and opinions.
    • Encourage virtual team-building activities, recognition programs, and virtual social events to strengthen relationships and organizational synergy. 

    Provide Training and Development Opportunities

    Remote employees often miss out on informal learning and development opportunities that come with being physically present. To make remote employees feel like they belong and are valued,

    • Offer remote-specific training programs, virtual workshops, and opportunities for skill-building and career growth.
    • Invest in their professional development to demonstrate that their growth and success are important to the organization.

    “People will typically be more enthusiastic where they feel a sense of belonging and see themselves as part of a community than they will in a workplace in which each person is left to his own devices.” Alfie Kohn


    Building a culture of belonging brings numerous benefits, including increased productivity, motivation, and team collaboration. By implementing these steps, organizations can create a welcoming and respectful environment essential for long-term success. Although it may be challenging, the effort is undoubtedly worthwhile. Embrace the power of inclusivity and unlock the limitless potential of your organization.

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