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Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace: Enhancing Well-Being and a Positive and Coherent Sense of Self

Abstract

The need to belong has long been established as a fundamental human need and one that when thwarted has significant detrimental implications for psychological well-being, including self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and cognition, as well as behavior. A growing body of work has explored the experience of belonging and social exclusion in the workplace and found belonging in the workplace to have equally significant implications for emotion, cognition, and sense of self, as well as performance. In particular, sense of not belonging at work has been found to impact self-efficacy and self-esteem, as well as undermine a consistent and coherent self-concept through the conflict that emerges between who individuals know themselves to be and how they feel and behave during the experience.

Research also suggests, however, that the organizational culture of the workplace is involved in both determining and fostering a sense of not belonging at work, and as such organizations have a role to play in fostering a sense of belonging at work and enhancing employee well-being.

Keywords

  • Belonging
  • Exclusion
  • Inclusion
  • Self-concept
  • Well-being

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Waller, L. (2020). Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace: Enhancing Well-Being and a Positive and Coherent Sense of Self. In: Dhiman, S. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Well-Being. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02470-3_83-1

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