In the context of our study, diversity as lever is about holding leaders accountable. Diversity as part of the framework is about representation. When you have both, the journey to systemic equality can begin. To truly foster a sense of belonging, the wider societal context of the world—from corporate responses to anti-racism movements to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—must always be considered. Internal environments must then adapt to the unique challenges and experiences people face.
When environments are psychologically safe, people are more likely to be honest and forthcoming about their concerns. Some might even be willing to share their ideas on how the organization can make employees feel NBO.
And yet, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating this sense of belonging. It’s personal—based on an individual’s own lived experiences—which makes it hard for CEOs to scale within their organizations. The consequence is that over a third of employees don’t feel like they belong.
Fortunately, leaders can leave their people NBO by getting the key moments in their careers, from onboarding to leaving, right. When they do, leaders can expect to see NBO scores surge 3.2x. Even better: When leaders get the day-to-day experiences right, they can increase NBO by up to 5x.
Another reason why leaders should care? Because their customers do. Over half (54%) of Promoters (compared to just 23% of Detractors) feel that companies are responsible for leaving them NBO.1 And given that Promoters are most likely to recommend a company’s products or services, creating positive experiences across each dimension of NBO is good for business.
Furthermore, leaving people NBO fosters loyalty. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of US consumers say they spend more on brands they are loyal to.2 For leaders, the remit is clear: There is a positive correlation between belonging and the bottom line. But what steps can leaders take?