Why Your Remote Employees Need Belonging Now More than Ever

In my most recent book, I showed how teams achieve higher levels of performance through belonging.

Belonging is the experience of feeling valued, wanted, and welcomed. And it’s a powerful influence on helping people experience relatedness. This, now more than ever, is something we all want and need.

We are living and working in a time where loneliness is on the rise. We are cut off from co-workers, extended family, and friends. COVID-19 has us sheltering in place, but our human need to belong still needs to be satisfied.

At the heart of belonging are relationships. The ones that inspire, improve our experience of work, and even evoke our desire to rise above adversity. Those relationships are paramount in these sequestered times.

It’s ludicrous that some leaders hold the outdated belief that the workplace is no place for meaningful relationships. Employees today want more than a job. They want purpose. Meaning. After all, the work we do shapes our identity. When leaders understand that belonging and relatedness are essential sources of motivation, they create teams that work hard and celebrate successes together.

While working from home presents challenges to communicate with employees, it’s not impossible. Focus on building meaningful connections with your employees. Encourage them to connect. Include time at the beginning of your meetings to bond over personal topics. This is a great time to boost your team’s performance through belonging. Sure, you may be wearing sweats while you work and haven’t had a haircut in two-months. These realities are fodder for jokes about working from home.

Ultimately, the leaders who emphasize human connection are better positioned to influence morale and productivity positively.

The secret sauce to leading remote teams to greatness is this: mix belonging with your company’s purpose to unify your employees. Nobody wakes up on a workday expecting to be ignored, discounted. But we all want to experience the maximizing influences of belonging. And we are moved by a purpose that calls upon us to be our best Use these two ingredients to shape how you show up as a leader. It’s what your team needs now more than ever. You do, too.

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About the Author

Shawn Murphy
Shawn Murphy
Director of Organizational Behavior, Bluescape
Shawn is our Director of Organizational Behavior and Workplace Trends. His second book, Work Tribes is out now. Shawn's first book, The Optimistic Workplace is out now. Inc. has listed him twice as one of the top leadership speakers in America.

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