- Employees are less likely to quit their jobs if they feel a sense of belonging at work, new research from mobile coaching firm BetterUp revealed.
- Employees who feel a strong sense of belonging show a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% decrease in turnover risk and a 75% drop in sick days, the group found in polling 1,789 full-time workers from various industries. The researchers also found belonging to be an effective recruitment tool: Employees who have a sense of belonging are 167% more likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work.
- "Taking steps to increase belonging has profound impacts, making workplaces more human and more productive," Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp’s CEO, said in a media release. "Belonging is a basic human need that has not been given the attention it deserves in the workplace. Our research shows that when workplace exclusion exists, it has a detrimental impact to a company’s bottom line."
Experts continue to agree that a lack of belonging can lead to attrition. As BetterUp pointed out, that means an employer's failure to adopt inclusion initiatives can be an expensive choice.
To create a sense of belonging, BetterUp said employers can coach managers to be aware of the impact of exclusion and to focus on the human needs of team members. Additionally, Aubrey Blanche, Atlassian’s global head of diversity and belonging, has encouraged employers to ensure the presence of role models and aim for balanced representation of identity groups.
But there's more than attrition at stake. In a perhaps worse outcome, workers who feel excluded may stay around, only to become disengaged. While a majority of respondents to a recent Achievers survey said they weren't engaged at work, most said they plan to stay in their jobs. That's an expensive problem; a 2017 Mental Health America report estimated that disengaged workers cost employers between $450 and $500 billion each year.