You can sit with us: belonging in the workplace 

What it is. Why it matters. And how to do it right.

A group of MOO colleagues sitting and having lunch together

The average American spends over 2,000 hours a year at work. (That’s a whopping third of your lifetime.) And when you put in that amount of time in a place, it’s important to feel like you belong there. 

‘Belonging at work’ often feels like a buzz phrase – something corporate recruitment videos and job ads throw around because they think it’s what potential employees want to hear. But belonging at work is more than skin-deep; companies need to actively invest and strive to create a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment. And not only for their employee’s sake but for the sake of the company too. 

The Harvard Business Review found that when employees feel like they belong, it impacts an organization’s bottom line: 

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

These stats show that belonging at work matters. Read on to discover what goes into creating a happy, motivated and inclusive work culture. 

Recognition pays

A welcome starter pack for a new colleague

People like to be noticed for their efforts, especially in the office. 

  • 81% of workers are motivated to work harder when they feel appreciated.
  • 40% of demotivated employees put it down to a lack of recognition.
  • 63% of employees who feel recognised are unlikely to look for a new job.

A culture of recognition makes individuals feel valued and respected. It can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ when someone goes the extra mile or gives their all to a project. It can be celebrating personal milestones like birthdays, workplace anniversaries, and achievements. Taking the time to recognise and appreciate your team shows that you care, which positively impacts motivation, morale, and connection. 

Flexibility matters

Hybrid working empowers people to manage their work-life balance, helping them feel a sense of belonging in the workplace – even when they aren’t physically there.

  • 66% of workers would look for a new job if they were no longer allowed to work flexibly.
  • 91% say that remote work contributes to their happiness at work.
  • 62% state that flexible working boosts morale.

Living in a post-pandemic world has made us reassess what’s important in life – both professionally and personally. Flexible work set-ups allow employees to flex their roles around their health, childcare, and other commitments. ‘Belonging at work’ no longer means showing up and sitting at a desk from 9 to 5. Flex working is a much more holistic and inclusive way of doing business. At MOO, we’re passionate about our ‘work from anywhere’ incentive, giving our team the ability to embrace location freedom.

Connection breeds contentment

Humans are social animals, and brands that prioritize team collaboration and connection, create community spirit within the workplace.

  • 94% (out of 1,000 full-time workers surveyed) agree that they’re more productive when they feel connected to their co-workers.
  • Connected employees are twice as likely to go above their job responsibilities.
  • 49% of connected employees expect to stay longer than five years versus 34% of disconnected employees.

People feel more at ease when they know that they can rely on each other. Pixar is a stellar example of an inclusive workplace culture thanks to its judgement-free and supportive team spirit. Co-workers support each other’s rough ideas (or, as they call it, their ‘ugly babies’) by creating a safe, honest feedback space. They focus on collaborating and improving each other’s work to create truly outstanding animations.

Empowered to grow

It’s hard to belong somewhere where you feel constantly held back. A brand’s commitment to an individual’s growth is crucial in creating a feel-good working environment. 

  • 76% of millennials think that having professional development opportunities is a crucial part of a company’s culture.
  • 86% would be kept from leaving their current position if their employer offered training and development.
  • Retention rates rise 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures.

When employers invest in an individual’s goals, they’re investing in their company. Google has a great track record of helping its employees grow and succeed. Their internal coaching programme, CareerGuru, offers detailed insights and advice from leaders in different roles across the company, helping employees bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to go. 

Wellbeing is a priority  

A running club flyer for an internal employee club

Belonging at work feels like your unique identity, perspectives, experiences and contributions are seen (and celebrated). Companies who invest in health and wellbeing, indirectly show their staff they care. 

  • 87% of employees say they take health and wellness benefits into account when selecting an employer.
  • More than 9 in 10 workers say they feel more motivated at their job if their leaders support wellbeing efforts.
  • On average, companies that offer wellness programs experience a six-to-one return on investment.

There are lots of ways to support your staff’s wellbeing and promote feelings of belonging. From running lunchtime yoga classes and giving people their birthday off every year to allocating personal wellbeing allowances so they can spend it on what makes them feel good – such as gym memberships or buying theatre tickets. Having a strong and dedicated HR team is also key. There are lots of fun one-off events you can organize, too, like Etsy’s ‘Bring your dog to work day.’ 

Feeling inspired?

From staff welcome gifts to marking milestone anniversaries, we’ve got the print products and Branded Merchandise you’re looking for. To get started, fill in this simple form and one of our team will be in touch to help bring your ideas to life.

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