Data on Belonging

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Data on Belonging

47% of Millennial employees would instead take a pay cut to work where their values are shared by their employers. Millennial workers tend to use more subjective measures over the others who work on objective ones. Nearly half of the Millennial workforce seek out diversity and inclusion programs at workplaces they are planning to join before deciding on one. “Belonging is what allows employees to feel like they can be their authentic selves without fear of different treatment or punishment—and it has a major impact on performance and retention.”


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” by Oscar Wilde is an appropriate heading for a survey regarding what makes employees feel they belong in their organization. The survey results were as follows:
1. "Being recognized for my accomplishments-59%
2. Having opportunities to express my opinions freely-51%
3. Feeling that my contributions in team meetings are valued-50%
4. Feeling comfortable being myself at work-50%
5. Transparent communication about important company developments-48%
6. Feeling like my team/company cares about me as a person-46%
7. Feedback on my personal growth-39%
8. Being assigned work deemed important for the team/company-39%
9. Having the company values align with my own personal values-37%
10. Being a part of important company meetings-24%
11. Seeing execs who look like me-8%
12. Seeing co-workers who look like me-8%"
Results of the survey found that Millennial employees want continuous, regular feedback on their work. Honoring employees work during anniversaries, and unique award programs are valued. Exceptional work recognition is a must for these employees. Next, 55% of women value contribution acknowledgment over 48% of men. The feeling of value at work was expressed by leaders who trust subordinate’s decisions to be attentive and respectful. An open and honest environment that allows employees to challenge status quo gives them he motivation to contribute more unique ideas while gaining respect from peers. Lastly, this study found that individuality in the workplace provided greater employee retention, trust, and better customer satisfaction.


A sense of belonging is cultivated by a company’s culture. Belonging is the greatest motivator for millennial workers in the workforce whether it was large company strategies or small actions. Advice provided in this review was to let the Millennial know how excited you are to have them on their first day on the job. Giving top performers a true sense of belonging by direct interaction will reward them with acknowledgment of recognition. This article references an older study, but it was right on target for this research so, it is detailed below.


This study was performed by The Center for Generational Kinetics LLC where employees are comfortable telling their management which areas of the company they want to grow into. Providing them with quarterly training allows growth into other areas of the company in which the employee has shown interest. Listed are the results that the study generated:
1. "Give specific, visual examples of the performance you expect.
2. Create a safe space for Millennial employees to learn from and interact with leaders.
3. Give Millennial workers a chance to prove themselves through stretch projects.
4. Make the 1st day unforgettable by doing something unexpected and memorable.
5. Show your vision for their talent development."


This survey was put together with more than 14,000 recruiting professionals across the world. Company cultures that involve consistent feedback and coaching will make Millennial members feel like they belong. 47% of Millennial feedback was about how their personal growth within an organization leads to a sense of belonging.

Providing real-time, honest, and constructive feedback is much more effective than the traditional annual reviews ever were. 43% of millennial employees would like prompt feedback and acknowledgment of their work as soon as possible. This sentiment could extend to follow-up from meetings, projects, and group sessions.


This review blog was based on a paywall survey titled, “The Radical Transformation of Diversity and Inclusion: The Millennial Influence.” Millennials are bringing more humanity into the workplace. They define diversity as being:
"32% more likely to focus on respecting identities
35% more likely to focus on unique experiences
29% more likely to focus on ideas, opinions, and thoughts"
Another aspect of belonging is inclusion as defined by a study by Deloitte titled, “Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup?” that strives to present a view of diversity and inclusion as being both a fairness and business issue. The participants in this study were three Australian business and 1,550 employee respondents to the Deloitte’s, “Diversity, Inclusion and Business Performance Survey”.
Accelerating business performance through diversity and inclusion were the results of the Deloitte survey. Key findings showed the formula “Diversity + Inclusion = improved business performance”. Organizations that focus on diversity more than inclusion need to re balance their focus between the two.
The inclusion concept is combine “to include” with “I feel included”. The feelings of inclusion involve perceptions of respect, and fairness that are necessary to sequentially build upon one another to value belonging. Work-life balance signals that an employee is seen in his entirety with life in and out of the workplace. An organization’s support for diversity is seen through their employee’s work-life balance. The last key takeaway from the survey was that data was the way to identify the effectiveness of any change interventions which will deliver the biggest bang for your buck. Data can unleash the potential for diversity and inclusion with greater confidence and precision.

Pat Wadors, the VP of Global Talent at Linkedin, did a piece for Harvard Business Review. It was based on the principle that “Our brains are hardwired to motivate us toward connection and belonging-it’s how we survive and thrive”. Belonging to a group or attachment to co-workers in a group can be a stronger incentive than money for some employees. “Diversity+Inclusion=Improved Business Performance”
Recently, there was also a paid survey done by the WorkHuman Research Institute, and cited by this Globoforce Blog, that found that 19% of employees recognized for something within the past month, felt as though they belonged to their organization. 27% of the respondents relayed that If they believe their leaders care about providing a humane work environment, they feel like they belong and fit into the organization.


This PowerPoint Presentation was also prepared by Pat Wadors, CHRO, Linkedin. Diversity “is the quality or state of having many forms, types, and ideas, etc.” Inclusion is “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.” She shares that, “Strategies for controlling bias-which drive most diversity efforts have failed spectacularly…” by Harvard Business Review, Jul-Aug ’16 in “Why Diversity Programs Fail”. While diversity and inclusion are necessary, they are not sufficient without “belonging”. The sense that they are essential to their team, or that they can be authentic, and the matter is one way of looking at what belonging feels like.

The Urban Dictionary described the pronoun “DIBS as the most powerful force in the universe; to call to oneself.” Pat displays a DIBS index that showed 91% of workers are willing to promote a sense of belonging to their co-workers. Efforts to ensure workers feel they belong to negative events happen is reassuring.


Although some of our research focused on material that was older than two years, it was included for your review because the information was specific to data on belonging. Our results show that the Millennial employee's sense of inclusion and diversion in the work culture will improve work performance. Our innate attraction towards belonging and connection is based on our need to survive and thrive in any environment. Retention and performance in the workplace can be improved by allowing employees to be themselves without fear of reprisal so they feel a greater sense of belonging.