Connection, Belonging & Trust – a commercial advantage


Connection, Belonging & Trust – a commercial advantage

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself”.

Maya Angelou

Connection – Belonging – Trust

Across my work with teams – over 20 plus years and 9 industries – people tell me the same things time and time again.

When I ask them what they need in order to work at their best, they tell me:

  • An understanding of the organisation’s purpose and mission and clarity about where my role fits within that. How does what I do have meaning?
  • Clear role expectations and an understanding of my responsibilities. How is my work connected to the whole?
  • Engagement, consultation and ways to share my ideas. I want to feel like I belong and that I matter.
  • To have great relationships at work – an understanding of how we all contribute to the whole, respect for one another and honesty from my leaders. I want to work in a high-trust environment.
It is important to people that they feel comfortable and safe within a trusting environment that nurtures belonging and where they understand the meaning they bring to what they do. They may not use all these words, but that is what people consistently say.

This isn’t fluff. It’s quite transparently decently human and so why wouldn’t you want to create this environment; but more than that it has strong commercial currency.

it has strong commercial currency

The latest data from WorkL suggests that in the UK, just 65% of people say they are happy at work. What do people mean by ‘happy at work’? – well I bet many of the themes above play into that. Here is some data.

  • Google’s Project Aristotle found that psychological safety is the biggest differentiator of high performing teams.
  • A survey by Gallup found that highly engaged teams show 20% plus greater productivity and profitability than disengaged teams.
  • Cass Business School have reported that orgainsations with a focus on employee fulfilment are more resilient (Gallup found this too).

Retention, confidence in leadership, customer satisfaction, higher levels of personal responsibility and accountability – there is evidence that all these areas improve where people feel connection, belonging and trust (engagement).

The commercial case for creating connection, belonging and trust is clear

This means that if you think about these areas – Connection, Belonging and Trust – you will be more successful and more resilient with a better brand image.

If you are looking to pause, reset and reconnect your team, here are some things to consider – perhaps you can reflect yourself initially, and then ask the team.


the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

• If you have an existing, understood or proclaimed Purpose Statement, reconnect with this – what does it say to you; what does it mean in reality?

• If you don’t currently have a Purpose Statement or it is no longer relevant, define and formalise this – with team input.


What does success look like – in line with that Purpose? How do you define and measure success? To meet that purpose, what do you need to achieve?

What you do

What do you need to do to be successful? What activity, actions and deliverables are needed? Are your job descriptions and expectations up to date and understood?

How you do it

How do you need to be to be successful? What behaviour, ways of working and relationships are needed? Do you have expected and understood behaviours, standards, and ways of being?

Once you have done this – start to connect the team with belonging. Ask them:

What does working at [Organisation or Team] mean to you?

Tell me about the best times that you have had as a Team. Looking at your whole experience, recall a time when you felt most alive, most involved, or most excited. What made it so; who was involved?

What do you most value about this team? 1 thing

What do you think is the core value of this team? What is it that, if it didn’t exist, would make your team different from how it currently is?

If you had 3 wishes for the team, what would they be?

Contact me for some one-page frameworks to help with this, to pick my brains for half an hour, or to find out about my team events – run in-house, or come to us outdoors in The New Forest.

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