Can HR training help in doing a belonging audit?
Companies are today very much concerned about retaining employees.
Hence HR training is crucial for this purpose so that employees can be taught about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion.
What is a Belonging Audit?
The Belonging Audit measures how much employees feel valued in a company. If they don’t, they are looking for better job opportunities and will quit as they find one. When an employee feels like he is a part of an organization because his viewpoint is valued, he brings his opinions to the table, leading to better productivity. For example, it happens with women leaders in senior management roles, who tend to quit because their ideas don’t matter. They have had the opportunity to progress in the company, but most people don’t think they deserve that role and often don’t take their work and opinions seriously. The group has a herd mentality, which often includes not taking women in top positions seriously.
Therefore, an organization needs to conduct a belonging audit to know whether employees feel included or not. Hence this kind of audit surveys employees to know their feedback on whether they feel “included” or not. So, this survey involves interviewing the employees to get their feedback. There have been statistical proof that a feeling of belonging in your workplace decreases employees’ sick days. These are the reason why employees don’t feel they belong in a company:
- Populist culture: The reason why belonging has taken such an important role is that there is a populist culture emerging in countries, which has led to social frustration among people. So they want to find a sense of satisfaction at their workplaces where they don’t want to feel excluded because of their different ethnicities. This increasing agitation among people has been concluded in a survey involving 6 countries by World Economic Forum. There has been a rise in populism in countries such as the US, where it is believed that there is a difference of interests between the elite and the common people and the former refers to the wealthier sections of the society, including those serving the government. So, the commoners are devoid of many rights. The populists want to help people in general, “the small fry” who are not happy with globalization and immigration. The populists want such people to benefit from the same rights given to the elites.
- Remote workers:
Apart from this reason, another reason is that more and more workers are now working remotely. There has been an increase in this percentage in the US since 2005. Since this year, there has been a rise in such people in the US by 173%. Workers who work from home feel disconnected because they don’t talk to their colleagues, at least not daily, and are not part of any official events. Such workers feel excluded and don’t feel that they are a part of a company. The HR training can make the human resource professionals conduct a belonging audit properly and execute the necessary changes.
It’s the job of the HRs to ensure that the senior leaders are willing to make the necessary alterations. If they don’t think that changes are a requisite, conducting a belonging audit is a waste of time. The minorities who feel excluded in a company feel further hurt by no changes and the situation exacerbates.
How should HR conduct a belonging audit?
- Conduct the survey
- Develop the survey questions
- Analyze the survey results
The HR training can ensure that they are accomplished to conduct such an audit. So, they can arrange listening sessions with employees and listen to their woes. Once that is done, they can plan some steps through these insights to bring a transformation in the organization’s culture.
The HR has to conduct this survey because they are supposed to manage the human resources. But the employees might already be fed up with such surveys because previously, no action was taken. Hence it’s the HR’s job to convince them that the survey will yield positive results.
The employees might also feel that their perception about things will be revealed to others and they will be reprimanded for it. HR’s job is to convince them that their opinions will be kept anonymous. The employees must feel that this survey is being conducted because of the leaders’ willingness. Hence, the introductory email must contain a note from them as to why everyone should partake.
The HR training can also include learning how to develop such questionnaires so that employees feel that their viewpoints are important. HR professionals can include questions from survey banks, but they can also include customized open-ended questions such as the behavior found objectionable by employees. If they have seen such behavior in the organization with others or themselves, which has left them feeling agonized or embarrassed, they should answer it. If their work in the office means letting go of their moral values, they should talk about it. So, the survey’s questions should seek blatant responses from employees. If some incident has left them feeling excluded or ignored in the company, they should report it in the belonging audit. If the employees feel lonely because no one talks to them, then address such problems in the survey.
Again, HR’s job is to do the data analysis, which isn’t an easy task. The HR’s job is to see which ethnicities feel they are often ignored the most. So, such people have the least belonging to the organization. Employees in some functions/departments in the company also feel marginalized during work, like they are not included in projects or critical decision-making. Are employees’ well-being affected by this sidelining and causing low belonging levels?
Three drivers of belonging: comfort, connection and contribution
There are three drivers of belonging Comfort, which is the 1st one that means whether employees can be real at the workplace. The 2nd one is Connection which implies that employees must interact with their teams and should be able to discuss their professional and personal problems with them. The companies are creating business resource groups for this purpose so that employees can connect with someone having the same religious background or ethnicity or any other commonality. But Contribution is the most significant contributor to the feeling of belonging in an employee who is acknowledged for his work and his goals are in sync with the company’s goals.
Hence there should be a meaningful discussion to attain a common outcome. And when such debates when, there is a beneficial exchange of ideas because everybody gets to know the merits and demerits of an employee’s plan of action to solve a problem.
HR training can ensure that they can create an organizational culture that includes all the three factors of comfort, contribution and connection so that employees feel belonged. They must be allowed to dress and behave the way they want, have team conversations, share their opinions and get feedback from superiors about how they are creating a foundation for a better future for the company through their work.
This is how companies can foster a culture of belonging by ensuring that employees feel that they are contributing something.