Employees do not feel as if they belong in their office

Under a third of UK employees feel as they belong in the company they work for, with the fear that over 9 million workers being furloughed and the mass adoption of remote working could add to the feeling of employee disengagement.

This research was conducted by MyKindaFuture, a talent specialist who found that only 32 per cent of employees feel as though they fit in at the company they work at, which can feed in to feeling less motivated and loyal. As well as over a third stating they have no ‘bond’ with their employer.

Men feel more out of place compared to women at their respective offices. As 34 per cent of women compared to 31 per cent of men say that they do feel like they belong. Salary still remains the most important perk for UK workers, with 70 per cent of staff saying this. Being valued came in at second with 47 per cent, followed by getting on with your colleagues at 43 per cent. Health insurance came in at 10 per cent and a subsidised gym membership at 4 per cent.

Only a quarter (25 per cent) of employees would recommend their employer to a friend and a fifth (20 per cent) of workers said it took more than six months to feel as they were comfortable within their role.

Two-fifths (40 per cent) of HR believe their organisation is working hard to encourage a sense of inclusion.  However, a quarter of companies are not discussing this issue at board level.

The companies trying to address these issues are offering flexible working, regular catch-ups with line managers and team bonding sessions.  Still, an important factor that needs to be dealt with is that half of workers do not feel encouraged by their employer to express their opinion.

Will Akerman, founder and managing director (MD) at MyKindaFuture, said:

It is clear from the findings that a lack of belonging is a huge issue amongst UK employees. Even for those that do feel as though they belong it has taken an immense amount of time for this to be achieved which will, inevitably, be negatively impacting staff engagement, retention rates, and most likely the company’s bottom line.

At MyKindaFuture, we know that a sense of belonging is increasingly important to employees and the challenge of achieving this is only set to become more severe as businesses across the country are faced with building this culture remotely whilst staff are furloughed or working from home. So, it is essential that employers work harder than ever and innovate new strategies to enable them to attract and retain the very best talent as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

We know from experience that mentoring offers a fantastic solution for tackling the huge challenge UK companies are currently facing when it comes to cultivating a sense of belonging amongst employees. The research confirms this. During these unusual times, when most businesses’ face-to-face engagement has been placed on hold, digital platforms that allow employers to communicate with staff remotely offer a fantastic solution for ensuring each employee maintains a sense of belonging during their time away from the workplace. It is vital that companies invest time and resource in maintaining this sense of belonging virtually via digital channels now in order to prevent issues with employee productivity, motivation and retention later down the line.

MyKindaFuture gathered these results by speaking to 1,000 UK officer workers and 250 senior HR decision-makers.