As the amber leaves of November pave the way for the approaching winter, there is a palpable shift in the air—an embrace of reflection and thanksgiving. This month, often seen as the heart of the harvest season, naturally steers our collective consciousness towards gratitude. It’s not just about the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated in many parts of the world, but rather a universal cue for introspection on the abundance within and around us. In this season of giving thanks (which happens to be my favorite!), we find the perfect opportunity to explore the profound connection between gratitude and belonging—two powerful strands woven into the fabric of our social existence.
Belonging at work
In a recent webinar I hosted for IABC Emena a few weeks back, an intriguing question came up: “What’s the link between belonging and psychological safety?” In this blog post, I’ll try to answer that question.
As we celebrate Mental Health Month, it’s a fitting time to delve into a topic that profoundly affects our well-being: the sense of belonging. In today’s fast-paced world, our mental health often takes a back seat, but understanding how a sense of belonging can impact it is essential. This blog post takes you on a journey through the complex interplay between belonging and mental health, revealing how cherishing connections can significantly contribute to our mental well-being. Plus, we’ve got a practical micro-action at the end to help you kickstart your journey towards better mental health.
This week I had the chance to present to a virtual room full of communicators at the first IABC Connect event after summer. I presented my framework on belonging at work with a focus on how it can be used to retain talent. Check for the summary and video below.
This week, our expertise in change communication was featured on IoIC Voice. Voice magazine is the quarterly print title exclusively for IoIC members. Voice is rich in practical, useful content for IC practitioners – in-depth features, key research and opinions from around the industry. Voice is an essential tool for internal communicators to gain knowledge about their work and talk openly to their peers – sharing experiences and solutions to common issues.
This study found a direct relationship between belongingness and the quality of an employee’s relationship with his/her manager. However, it seems that line managers are either reluctant, unavailable, unaware, or unskilled to create a sense of belongingness in their teams. It might thus be interesting for future researchers to explore the real cause of this disconnect and find out how internal communication can help make this relationship flourish.
Every internal communication programme starts with a baseline. It is therefore useful for IC professionals to determine where their workplaces are in terms of a sense of belongingness before they aim to improve or strengthen it. To make sure that belongingness for new hires is taken on board, IC can conduct an initial survey to design a programme that can lead a transformation. They can do this via a questionnaire or random focus groups in the organisation.
The workplace has changed many times and in many ways since the coronavirus pandemic introduced lockdowns in the early part of 2020. With so many lives taken and workers pressured to perform behind their screens while balancing families and careers, mental health has been put under the microscope. This includes an employee’s sense of belongingness.
This blogpost aims to bring together what I have found as what works, what does not work, the themes that emerged during my interviews and the internal communication strategies that design belongingness in the virtual workplace. I managed to bring them all together in a handy model I call the new framework for workplace belonging.