You belong

In an article, Fostering a Culture of Belonging in the Hybrid Workplace, Harvard Business Review takes a look at the importance of belonging – a critical piece to employee engagement – in hybrid workplaces. The piece is well-framed with this important reminder: “The degree of meaning and purpose you derive from work may be the biggest difference between a job and a career, and psychological research has consistently shown that when employees feel that they belong to a team or organization — in the sense that it aligns with their values, and enables them to express important aspects of their identity — they will not only tend to perform better, but also experience higher levels of engagement and well-being. In contrast, a lack of belonging will increase the risk of alienation, burnout, and underperformance.”

Although remote working options and creative hybrid solutions are in high demand, there is a certain magic that can disappear when people don’t interact face-to-face. Regardless of how an organization is structured, leaders need to maintain a cultural bond. It’s critical to foster a sense of belonging for all team members — with some special attention on remote employees.

A Sense of Belonging

The important message is to have the courage to let your culture evolve with a focus on remote employees’ needs. Ask questions and explore what belonging looks, feels and sounds like in your organization. What will foster connective glue between disparate workers? How do your communication techniques, employee relations, mentoring, onboarding (and much more) keep a focus on building and maintaining a sense of belonging?

It’s a topic that will continue to present challenges and opportunities. Embrace all formal and informal information (data AND conversations) to ensure employees know that they DO belong and you are grateful for what they do in and outside of the office.

The rise of remote work has presented new challenges for HR professionals, one of which is ensuring that all employees feel included, regardless of their location. In a traditional office setting, it is relatively easy to create a sense of community and belonging. Employees can interact with each other in person, participate in team-building activities, and get to know each other on a deeper level. However, this is not always possible in a remote work environment.

Strategies to Increase a Sense of Belonging Among Remote Employees

HR professionals and savvy leaders can play a critical role in promoting inclusion for remote workers. By implementing the following strategies, HR can help to create a virtual workplace where all employees feel valued and respected:

  • Provide regular communication and feedback. It is important to keep remote workers engaged and informed about what is happening in the company. This can be done through regular check-ins, video meetings, and email updates. HR can also play a role in providing feedback to remote workers, both positive and constructive. This helps to ensure that remote workers feel like they are part of the team and that their contributions are valued.
  • Foster a culture of trust and respect. In a remote work environment, it is important to create a culture of trust and respect. This means that employees must feel comfortable communicating with each other and sharing their ideas, regardless of their location. Leadership can help to foster this culture by providing training on communication and conflict resolution.
  • Celebrate diversity and inclusion. It is important to celebrate the diversity of the workforce, both in the office and in the remote workforce through events, training, and resources.
  • Provide the right tools. Remote workers need access to the same tools and resources as their in-office colleagues. This includes access to technology, training, and development opportunities.

Gifts are Extra Special for Remote Employees

Virtual and mailed gifts are a thoughtful way to let remote workers know that they are valued and appreciated. Virtual gifts can be anything from subscriptions to streaming services, gift cards to office supply stores, and transportation vouchers. They can be tailored to the interests of the individual, making them even more meaningful.

At gThankYou, we know that a positive surprise in the mailbox is always a welcomed gesture. The majority of people expect only junk mail and bills, so a gift certificate for groceries, candy, turkey, or pizza is exciting AND practical!

When Should You Mail a Gift?

Gift-giving is a year-round endeavor not to be ignored beyond the holidays and should be a regularly scheduled event based on your organization’s culture. Obviously, budget is a consideration, too, but that can be effectively managed with the right foresight. Is someone celebrating a work anniversary? Are you onboarding new staff? Do you give a little gift for birthdays? The possibilities are endless and the result is priceless … a sense of belonging!

Learn More About gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude


Top Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

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Gift Certificates

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

Ship directly to your business

Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Giver name or logo (both optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.