Belonging Workplace Events

Lashonda Tillis
Lashonda Tillis

Table of Contents

As workplace settings change to accommodate new ways of working, fostering a sense of belonging amongst employees is more important than ever. How can organizations build connections to prevent isolation?

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What Are Belonging Workplace Events?

Events, activities, and groups designed to meet the needs of individuals and appeal to their sense of inclusiveness, identity and connection are belonging workplace events.

Why Are Belonging Workplace Events Important?

Belonging to workplace events is important for many reasons.

  • Research proves we all want to belong. Research shows that belonging is a common metric in employees’ level of workplace satisfaction and commitment. People want to feel included, have a sense of belonging, and connected with like-minded people who share the same experiences, culture, language, etc.
  • It’s a DEI strategy. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives have been adopted rapidly into the fabric of companies. Tracking employees’ sense of belonging and inclusion is the next step in fulfilling DEI goals, a bold action step towards learning more about the people and needs of an organization.
  • Social bonding = positive outcomes. With many work environments implementing remote or hybrid work, it is more important than ever to keep employees connected and social beyond work. This might be easier to do onsite, but new challenges are presented when workers are offsite. Providing opportunities to connect with other individuals with shared interests can lead to positive job satisfaction. As a result of this, companies have begun new initiatives focused on employee engagement and workplace belonging efforts. These companies provide research and training to organizations on how to address employee culture and implement solutions.
  • It impacts the bottom line. Studies show that employees who feel a strong sense of belonging take fewer sick days, have reduced turnover, and show a drastic improvement in job performance. This is a plus for any company!

Examples of Belonging Workplace Events

Nearly any event in the workplace can build feelings of belonging, from all-hands meetings to casual Fridays and seasonal celebrations. Some events, however, have to belong at their core, such as ERGs and diversity training.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Employee resource groups are employee-led interest groups that build awareness, community and belonging in people with a common demographic. This grouping could be race, sexual identity, religion, or other shared demographics.

Diversity Training

Focusing on empowering teams with diversity training helps people of all backgrounds feel as if they have a seat at the table and feel heard, seen, and recognized for their contributions.

Speaker Series

Speakers that appeal to employees’ work, personal or professional lives provide inspiration, knowledge, and encouragement.

Inclusion Training

Training to help employees grow in allyship, bring awareness to causes, and educate are a bonus in planning workplace events.

Celebrations

Who doesn’t like to celebrate? People are connected by similarities and through the many differences, they share. Celebrating individual and collective wins builds a sense of community.

Tips for Hosting a Belonging Workplace Event

Tip 1: Collect Data

Start by determining how employees need to feel belonging. Beyond surveys of measuring the effectiveness of processes and programs, capturing information for social and workplace belonging events, such as what employees need to feel supported, is an important step in planning workplace events.

Tip 2: Organize Groups

Create a central calendar for employee resource groups.  Making an official calendar and sharing it with members is a way to foster inclusion and purpose. When employees see planned events for their groups, it shows a company’s commitment to the formal organization within resource groups.

Tip 3: Make It Fun

Make workplace belonging events lively and fun so employees look forward to connecting with others. The emphasis doesn’t need to be on work content but on discussions of common issues and connectors beyond work.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Belonging Workplace Events

Research shows (https://www.techrepublic.com/article/employees-who-feel-like-they-belong-are-more-productive-workers/) that belonging to workplace events lead to a 56% increase in employee job performance and satisfaction.
Workplace events do not have to be mandated for all. No one wants to participate in events they are forced to attend. Providing the support and encouragement to join is the name of the game.
As more and more companies work remotely, there has been evidence of widely successful virtual workplace events. Virtual summits, workshops, online courses, and meetings have now become social and virtual.
Lashonda Tillis
Lashonda Tillis

Lashonda works in Talent Acquisition at Shopify, where she helps to fulfill the mission of making commerce better for everyone. In this role, she sources candidates for senior engineering roles in a variety of disciplines. When she isn’t working, Lashonda loves to spend time reading, enjoying family time, or expanding her knowledge of all things HR.

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