— Let me indulge you for a bit of
Belonging at work
In 2021, I wrote a thesis on “Internal communication and belonging in the virtual workplace” for my Executive Master in Corporate Communication studies at the RSM Erasmus University.
This study looked into internal communication strategies that cultivate a sense of belongingness in the workplace. It singled out belonging since it has been known to contribute to workplace safety (Malone 2016), well-being (Waller 2020), sense of meaning (Schnell et al. 2019), and workplace productivity (BetterUp 2020; House 2021).
To achieve the study’s main objective, newly-hired employees and internal communication professionals were interviewed virtually using a semi-structured format. The findings revealed that nurturing and connection, empowering employees to be able to do their work from home and healthy employee-manager relationship, contribute to an employee’s sense of belongingness in the workplace.
The study ends with a new framework for belonging in the virtual workplace, recommendations for further research, and practical suggestions on how internal communication can increase the sense of belongingness in their workplaces.
In 2015, I started researching for a thesis on “Constructive news framing of the European migration” for my Master of Arts in Development Communication studies at the University of the Philippines Open University. I presented the thesis to the thesis committee in 2019.
I picked the topic to connect my journalism background with development communication and to smoothly transition to a new field.
This research focused on constructive news frames used in reporting the EU migration of 2015. Three journalists who are well-known for using constructive journalism techniques in their work were interviewed to determine these frames.
Constructive frames were then summarized in HASH: History, Ability, Solution and Human story. The structure of the constructive news story focusing on European migration formed the WDIET method: What Now, Data, Impact, Empathy and Truth.
These frames and elements can help practicing journalists in their reports, whether these are about the European migration or any other phenomenon in society that includes mass movement of people, stereotypes and questions of heritage.