Effective Leadership: Creating a Culture of Belonging

For a firm to be inclusive it is important to create a culture of belonging. Everyone who works the office needs to feel that they belong to the company. Instead of feeling left out and festering emotions of disregard, a company should strive to create a balanced workspace which is all inclusive.

In order for a company to be successful it is important that they make their workers feel like a part of a community. It should be inclusive enough to attract the right talent from all spheres of life and culture.


The importance of creating a culture of belonging

It is often observed that professionals in their twenties are the most difficult of employees to retain because they don’t believe in something like job security. They have instead focused all their energies on finding work which they find meaningful. Their age and the experiences they had during childhood have helped shape this philosophy. They believe in taking thing when it actually matters and don’t think a great deal about the future. They also tend to be more emotionally distant and thus have no qualms about leaving their job in search of better opportunities.


How to create a culture of belonging?

  • Leaders need to be courageous. Often they have to face the insecurities which their employees have and help them show that there is indeed life beyond those insecurities. Leaders can be vulnerable too. However, for this they need to be as authentic as possible. If they are going through a difficult phase, sharing it with their employees helps make them appear more realistic. This again gives the impression that they can trust their leaders because they somehow sail in the same boat as them. This in turn also helps build trust between employees and their management.
  • Leaders should provide opportunities for peers to connect with one another. This can be done by keeping weekly meetings o assigning a fixed time for everyone to gather and enjoy tea break. The communication which builds up during this time is priceless. It helps everyone bond together and create an aura of comfort and acceptance.
  • Give feedback. Those workers who receive positive feedback tend to have improved productivity. Just the simple thought that they are valued and appreciated makes them work harder and gain even more praise. When you actually believe in their abilities to do better they generally tend to excel in their designated positions. Sometimes beyond expectations.
  • Managers need to practice kindness. Managers can show their care when they are managing certain projects. They should be open enough to show that they rely on their team and do actually care that everyone involved in the project cares for it the same way they do. Such involvement can get positive results.

However, it should be kept in mind that to retain an actual culture of belonging it needs to become a habit and shouldn’t be based on a few single events. Effective leadership is a continuous exercise which managers should strive to achieve.