A good leader knows the importance of the unique individual talents that each of his/her team members bring to the table. An open and inclusive environment is key in enabling all employees to express their talent to the best of their abilities.
Employees are not only more comfortable, but also more productive when they feel a sense of belonging. Employees who perceive a sense of connection and belonging not only work with a positive attitude but are more engaged and remain at the company longer. This sense of belonging is beneficial for both the organization and the employees, but often difficult for leaders to cultivate. Yet welcoming input from a varied array of perspectives on the same issue opens up more pathways for you and your organization.
Celebrating diversity and employee differences is an integral step towards creating a more inclusive environment. Accepting and being open to ideas and opinions – especially those different than yours – are the most critical aspects of being in a leadership role. It is extremely important to create an atmosphere of comradery and openness where your employees feel comfortable communicating their opinions and ideas. Just pause,
When employees feel valued and heard their well-being is enhanced as is their engagement and productivity. A sense of belonging develops when employees are not compelled to fit in, but feel valued for embracing what makes them unique.
A good leader knows that effective, honest and open communication is a two-pronged dynamic. You want to be able to communicate your ideas to your employees, but you also need to realize the significance of the communication quality when you are on the receiving end. It is very encouraging for an employee to know they are heard, and their opinions and ideas are valued. This confidence and comfort lead to an environment where everyone feels invited to express their thoughts and ideas for the overall betterment of the organization.
The journey towards cultivating a sense of belonging begins the moment they set foot in your organization. From the first greeting to the primary introductions, each little step can make or break that confidence and harmony that you want to develop.
- A small personal gesture,
- A brief chat every now and then,
- An expression of appreciation,
- An encouraging compliment;
All of these little things matter and go a long way in creating that sense of affection and belonging that you want your employees to realize. This connection motivates your employees far beyond the material incentives to work for the growth and success of the team.