Report: Employees Crave a Sense of Belonging at Work

December 29, 2017 Emily Payne

shared community of workers

The holidays are a time when employees might think about leaving their company – CEB found career satisfaction drops 2% and job searches increase by 16% after a major gathering of friends and classmates. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 51% of workers are actively searching for new jobs right now.

In the modern, changing workplace, the question remains: How can we maintain employee retention?

As organizations become places of shared community, workers are craving a sense of belonging and celebration of life events at work. They want to bring their whole, authentic selves to the workplace.

Globoforce recently released its 2017 WorkHuman Research Institute (WHRI) survey report, finding that the majority (66%) of respondents reported they are the same person at work as they are at home. The WHRI report surveyed 2,700 full-time U.S. employees with the goal of finding out what really motivates people at work. It turns out, employees want to bring more life to work.

So, what can companies do to meet this desire for more connection?

  • Acknowledge that we are all human.

54% of respondents said they would like more opportunities to celebrate life events – such as having a baby, getting married, or buying a house. The more life events celebrated, the more likely we are to feel a sense of belonging. 90% of workers who celebrated more than five life events said they feel like they belong in their company.

  • Prioritize recognition and appreciation.

When workers feel they have a human workplace that fosters recognition and appreciation while empowering individuals, strengthening relationships, and providing a clear purpose aligned with achievable goals, they are: 2x as likely to feel like they can grow in the organization; 41% more likely to feel their work has meaning; and 78% more likely to trust their manager.

At the core of a person’s emotional connection at work are personal connections. Most workers surveyed have two or more close work friends, and nearly half (42%) have three to more than five close friends.

A human work culture also enhances diversity and inclusion initiatives. In companies with a human work culture and a D&I initiative, 96% of workers agree that diverse ideas, personalities, work styles, and perspectives are expected and valued.

The 2017 WHRI report also found solid statistics for employee recognition skeptics, noting that meaningful work is more important than compensation, and includes tips for dropping the painful performance rating process.

Workers are much more likely to be engaged, to recommend your company to a friend, and to work harder when their work culture is grounded in appreciation. To learn more about building a more human culture, download the full report.

Survey: Workers are craving a sense of belonging at work
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