September 1, 2014
Four ways employees can gain a sense of belonging:
- Have open-forum meetings on a regular basis . If employees feel that they are being heard, they will feel a stronger connection to you and the group. Don't be afraid of grievances, either. Even if you can't do anything to fix the problem, people feel better just having the opportunity to talk it out.
- Encourage group outings regularly, and don't expect your employees to do this on their own time . Consider allowing one paid afternoon per month, as long as it's a group activity.
- Give employees time to talk . Managers are often so worried about work not getting done that they discourage personal conversations among their staff. What they don't seem to understand is that these conversations help employees feel connected to each other.
- Host informal breakfasts . Your department needs to make informal connections occasionally. In a semi-social atmosphere you can introduce a new project, get creative juices flowing, and just kick off a new month.
SOURCE: Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay, by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, 1999. Used by permission.