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Belonging is the Secret to Retention

Retention is a big stressor in our businesses today. Google “how to retain employees in 2024,” and you’ll get more than 93 million search results full of excellent insights and recommendations. With countless strategies and endless advice, though, the task of retaining your employees can feel overwhelming. That’s why I encourage you to view all your efforts and initiatives through a single lens: that of creating a sense of belonging.

The Critical Importance of Belonging

As people, we want to belong – to feel that we are accepted and appreciated, to know that we can be authentic and honest, to believe that what we do is important and valued… Give that to your employees, and retention will not be an issue because people will feel like they belong.

Many Strategies Contribute to Belonging

Although it may not be apparent at first, many retention strategies have developing a sense of belonging as one of their aims. For instance, recognizing and rewarding employees for a job well done, creating opportunities for career development and growth, and resourcing employees so they can succeed in their roles all promote belonging.

The Foundation of Belonging

Identifying and living out your core values is one of the greatest ways you can create a sense of belonging. As you act on your core values day by day, you build a culture that is defined by those values. When someone “fits” that culture – that is, they align with your core values – they automatically feel a strong sense of belonging. Every interaction they participate in, every decision they make or are affected by, every communication they are party to reflects the company’s core values, reinforces the corporate culture, and reassures them that they belong.

Transformation Through Belonging

One of my clients discovered this secret to great retention. Within the past few years, this CEO has given clarity and consistency to his company’s core values… So much so, in fact, that he is attracting top talent – sometimes from across the country. He has heard employees assure new hires that they will love the job and the company because the core values are the real deal. Employees are willing to drive long commutes, bypassing job opportunities that are closer to home, for the joy of working there.

Why? It’s simple… It’s where they belong.