NextGroup is beyond excited to win the BMO Celebrating Women Grant. This recognition connects us with a group of other women entrepreneurs in the Midwest. Belonging to such an amazing group and the feelings of support and shared identity made me reflect on the importance of “B” – Belonging – to DEIB.
Nonprofits and small/medium-sized businesses need to prioritize belonging because the impact of turnover and lost productivity affects these organizations more deeply.
A 2019 Harvard Business Review study found that belonging was connected to a significant increase in job performance, reductions in turnover risk, and fewer employee sick days. The impact of NOT belonging is deeply costly to organizations (see sidebar).
You get it. Belonging Matters!
But, what can teams, in an increasingly hybrid/remote work world, do practically to increase belonging? These ideas for increasing belonging can be implemented in any size organization and at any level.
- Ask employees what they need from this role, from this relationship. People need different things to feel belonging and to be seen. Just the practice of asking strengthens bonds and plants seeds for more productive relationships.
- Evaluate how inclusive and equitable your existing “employee morale and engagements” programs are with a new lens. Is the standing Friday happy hour really the only way to have fun in a multigenerational and inclusive environment?
- Create space for honest sharing one-on-one, in groups, and at an organizational level. Set aside specific, protected time to share “how it is with each of your souls” What’s weighing on each person? Is there something that we can do to lift this burden as a team?
- Most of all, share your intentions, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. Your intentions coupled with actions of humility and authentic commitment to belonging for every single team member will make a difference.
- Move from representation to community building in talent acquisition. In order for women of color, for example, to want to be in your organization, they cannot and should not be the only ones. In fact, if this is how you are hiring, you are likely wasting your time and effort. NextGroup can support you in executing a more holistic recruitment strategy.
And, as always, reach out for more suggestions or to discuss (firstname.lastname@example.org).