150 BBH Affinity Network Community (BANC) Leaders across Europe and the U.S. joined together at a synergistic summit to share ideas and spark engagement to drive BBH’s DEI efforts forward. The event was designed to recognize BANC leaders’ contributions, enhance our collective leadership skills, and provide deeper understanding of what drives belonging in organizations. Participants focused on approaches around building deeper relationships, communication strategies that successfully influence others, and ways to take calculated risks.
A portion of the summit also explored how fostering a sense of belonging within organizations leads to greater retention and to ways people across the Firm can contribute. Our DEI Partner, Coqual, presented data from their Power of Belonging study, sharing the following key takeaways:
- Belonging at work definition: You feel seen for your unique contributions; connected to your coworkers; supported in your daily work and career development; and proud of your organization’s values and purpose (see page 12 of the study for specific actions).
- Individuals who feel a great sense of belonging have greater retention levels, stronger company loyalty, higher job engagement and are better brand ambassadors. An individual’s personal need to feel like they belong has no impact on the benefits of belonging.
- Those from historically marginalized groups based on race, gender and sexual orientation, as well as introverts tend to have lower levels of belonging. Parents tend to feel greater levels of belonging as commonality over childcare experiences transcends other differences, creating a shorter path to insider status. Veterans’ skillsets in building strong teams translates to the workplace, also creating a greater sense of belonging.
- Key areas to lean into to drive greater belonging
- Senior Leaders: Model inclusive leadership (listen to all voices on your team); be transparent about your values; seek to connect with employees across the organization; share personal stories
- Managers: Praise individual and teamwork; provide regular, honest feedback to improve an employee’s work; respond to people’s concerns; publicly credit colleagues for their contributions; empower team members to make decisions
- Colleagues: Respect team member’s commitments outside of work; provide timely and honest feedback on colleague’s work; thank individuals for their efforts; communicate openly and honestly with people about your working relationships
Armed with this additional knowledge, BANC leaders offered several ideas on ways to drive greater belonging during the onboarding process, and those ideas are now being further evaluated to determine the resources needed to execute.
I'm very appreciative of the investment BBH has made in the BANC communities and am excited to be a part of BANC leadership. It was my first time being able to interact with so many leaders globally validating the great impact BANC networks have on BBH!