Let's Talk Leadership - A Sense of Belonging

    It’s the final episode of our Let’s Talk Leadership series.

    But it’s certainly not the end of things. This recap is still a chance for you to use this as a springboard for you, and your company’s leadership.

    We have discussed many factors that can contribute to losing a good employee. But what’s the main takeaway lesson from all of this?

    You must create a culture of belonging.

    The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that has been happening in recent years, where people are leaving their jobs at unprecedented rates.

    According to CNBC, “Almost 48 million people quit in 2021, an annual record.”

    However, this is not just happening in America, but all over the world.

    So how do you create a culture of belonging, to get your people to stay?

    As discussed in the previous five episodes, psychological safety is the key. Your employees must be given a platform to speak up. To use their voice.

    That is how you create a culture worth working for.

    Live Your Company Values, Day in, Day out

    In our previous episode “What Have we Learnt About Leadership?” we discussed the importance of the CEO, and leaders, demonstrating core company values through their behaviors.

    At DX Learning, we have seen this create the biggest positive impact on any company culture.

    The CEO and executive teams are the culture. The culture of the organization is a mirror of their leadership.

    It’s the beginning of a culture that works. Start from the top, and work your way down.

    “Model the key behaviors that lead to psychological safety. Empathy, inclusion, and equity.”

    As a result of this, as mentioned in the first article of this series, “Keeping the Good Ones”:

    “The team culture is a mirror of leadership and the worst behavior they are willing to tolerate.”
    If they have an asshole on the team who they tolerate due to the results they get, that person sets the culture of the team.

    As a leader you must find the imperfections in the team and fix them. Even better, build a team culture where the team owns and fixes its own issues, and willingly provides the resources and attention to those that need it the most.

    So, remember this.

    “A team is only as good as the as the lowest performing person.”

    Let's Talk Leadership - A Sense of Belonging

    Show You CARE

    Team leaders need to show sincere recognition and appreciation to their employees to help them keep the good ones. The ones they want to stay.

    It’s all about valuing people for their superhero qualities and not assuming they know. Talking to one another. Being open and honest. Learning to CARE.

    And it’s all about understanding that humans are imperfect. And that’s OK.

    “A team's performance is the sum of its imperfections.”

    Teams must find those imperfections and raise them. But first, how do we recognize the good ones? As mentioned in our previous blog article, “Keeping the Good Ones”, a good one is someone who:

    • Raises the attitude of the team.
    • Thinks and acts inclusively.
    • Uses a ‘we’ vs. ‘I’ attitude.
    • Is equitable with their time and resources.

    These four factors contribute to creating a high performing team.

    Let's Talk Leadership - A Sense of Belonging

    Creating the Right State of Mind

    You also need to consider one other factor: Psychological safety.

    This is the idea that there’s only two things a brain can do:

    It either feels safe and in performance mode, or feels threatened and is in protection mode.

    Brains in protection mode are stressed, not at their best and in fight or flight. It’s harder to innovate and collaborate with others when you feel threatened.

    We need brains to be in performance mode so that they feel safe to collaborate with others, share their thoughts that enable teams to innovate, and want to give.

    So much more is achieved with a ‘we’ attitude against the ‘I’ attitude.

    This means we need to create psychological safety where we care for each other. Where there’s Clarity, Autonomy, Relationships, and Equity®.

    To do this we need a great culture, and a great culture doesn't just happen magically.

    Culture is a mirror of leadership, so we are all leaders at the end of the day, and it must start with leaders demonstrating the right habits that lead to the team feeling safe.

    Let's Talk Leadership - A Sense of Belonging

    What Are the Right Habits?

    People-first leadership behaviors are key, and companies must be deliberately put their people first to get results.

    However, it's not that easy to put people first. If it was, everyone would be doing it.

    You've got to recognize that your brain is naturally selfish. It simply wants you to survive. What you need to develop is self-awareness. Without this, it’s a complete waste of time.

    And what we've learned is this isn’t happening. Companies are talking a good talk, but talk is cheap, and people are unaware. Unless you're aware you’ll never know, and we can't change what we don’t know needs to change.

    Basically, we’ve a long way to go. So, we've got to be deliberate about empathy and inclusion if we want to keep the good ones.

    Keeping the good ones raises team performance, and the good ones become the cultural bellwether for the team. Creating the ‘we’ mentality, not the ‘I’ mentality.

    In effect, you’ve created a sense of belonging where people feel valued.

    To set the ball rolling we need to start having honest conversations. It’s the most basic of communications, and it’s also how you stop a toxic culture.

    It all just comes back down to CARE. Creating a sense of belonging. You’re starting to walk in the shoes of others, stop being selfish, and start being selfless and creating an ‘all of us’ culture.

    A great culture like this grows people-first leaders. They are the mirror of your culture. You create scenarios where people stay because, for the first time ever, their boss said, “This is what I value in you.” Not simply criticizing and judging.

    We don’t spend enough time on this.

    It’s what helps people best contribute to the team, understanding what motivates them, getting the best out of them, or discovering if they’ve been undervalued.

    On the flip side, they may have been under-utilized and they shouldn't be on the team. If what they value is not what the team values, that's okay. Go find another team that does - this goes back to the good ones we want to keep, who are all on the same page - where we all value the same thing.

    What I'm doing here is self-selecting who should be on this team. This all starts with psychological safety that comes from a sense of belonging.

    In turn, that all starts from building an honest culture. This has been the overarching theme of these six episodes: how DX learning can create a culture worth working for and will keep your people engaged.

    And the business figures reinforce this.

    “Employees who don’t like their organization’s culture are 24% more likely to quit.”

    Tiny Pulse

    Plus, there’s a cost to a poor culture. Studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6-9 months’ salary on average. (People Keep)

    Poor culture costs. It’s that simple.

    So why not embed CARE into your company culture?

    Get in touch today and let’s start creating a culture worth working for.

    Share this article: