The extent to which we feel part of a group is the level of identity we have with that group. The more we identify ourselves with it, the more integrated we feel.

The feeling of belonging to a certain group doesn’t necessarily mean that all members have the same characteristics. What group identity needs is to have a sense of wholeness, unity and a peculiarity that differentiates it from the rest. In other words, the identity of a group is formed when the members feel that their team is different from the others and that it’s the one to which they belong. When a group has a strong identity, people feel proud to be a part of it.

In other words, the feeling of belonging is very strong among its members. With a strong group one can feel a bond among the individuals and see a strong synergy with which the whole is greater than its parts. This is where sayings like “unity is strength” and “one for all and all for one” originate. The sense of belonging is a sense of connection to a group or community.

For survival reasons, human beings seek to belong to a core group to support one another. Family is the first group we ever belong to and is vital to our survival. Various values such as identity and pride derive from belonging. These generate feelings of fidelity, security, respect, self-esteem, dedication, achievement and a sense of direction towards goals.

The feeling of belonging gives meaning to life regarding ideals and the perseverance to achieve them. It gives us consistency. We care for what we value, value what we love and love what is ours. It’s a self-sufficient cycle that increases our own capacity. We have more energy when we’re passionate about what we do.

The more secure a person feels, the more elevated his or her sense of community, belonging and connection are and he or she’ll be more willing to follow the code of conduct and accomplish their roles and tasks. Companies need to strengthen the connection beyond employees’ roles and tasks.

They need to promote a suitable climate in order to foster an identity, pride, a feeling of belonging and tend towards a positive culture. That’s why it’s important for the company and all other parts involved to make sure that there’s a strong and healthy sense of pride and identity. Please note that this task is a team effort by the company and all of its parts; without one or the other involved in the process it’ll be hard to achieve a strong and positive identity within that company.

COMMITMENT & IDENTITY

Commitment is a necessary part in order to feel identified to a group. When there’s no commitment, there’s no identity and therefore no pride or sense of belonging. That commitment is needed to foster values such as credibility and trust, as well as identity and camaraderie.

Are you actually committed to your work?

Performing with enthusiasm, being completely involved with the company and being proud of it are some of the characteristics of engagement or “being hooked”. If you’re constantly complaining about your workplace, have a bad relationship with your co-workers and don’t collaborate towards the company’s objectives, then this may be a warning sign for you to start evaluating what’s going on.

This may help you improve your attitude or even realize that this isn’t the right place for you. The level of commitment is directly related to the productivity of the individuals, as a negative person doesn’t have much value to bring to the table for the company. Take into consideration that the values and culture of the company are also important in order to fit in and feel happy in the workplace. If the values of the company don’t resonate with the ones of the individual, then chances are low that he or she will feel committed. So it’s important for the identities of the company and of its human capital to be aligned, as it may otherwise affect performance negatively.

Review the following questions in order to find out whether you’re a team member who feels committed to and identified with your company.

DO YOU SPEAK HIGHLY OF THE COMPANY?

A committed person feels proud of his or her workplace and always talks positively, highlighting the qualities of the company.

DO YOU WORK WITH ENTHUSIASM?

If you’re committed you’ll feel like wanting to keep on working. You’ll see work as something that gives you pleasure and not as an obligation. Commitment can be noticed through a smiling and cheerful attitude.

DO YOU GO THE EXTRA MILE AT WORK?

Do you give 100% or more in everything that you do or even work extra hours just because you feel like doing more? If you work in order to actually achieve more, rather than just putting in your work hours, then you’re surely a person committed to the team and its achievements.

DO YOU HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS?

Being committed to the company is being committed to its environment. Therefore, if you have relationships filled with respect and cordiality for your co-workers, it most likely means that you’re engaged.

DO YOU GENERATE CLIENT SATISFACTION?

A committed person will do an excellent job at fulfilling all the above points. Therefore, his or her clients will be satisfied with his or her work and the company as a whole.

Once you’ve answered these questions honestly, you’ll be able to get a feel of where you’re at with the company you work for, people you work with and your general work environment. This will give you a lot of clarity about what you can do if you really treasure your team and at the same time, you’ll feel the contrast in case you aren’t satisfied with it.

Some of the things you can do to improve your co-workers’ and your own level of identity:

  • PRAISE YOUR CO-WORKERS: The most sought after acknowledgement is the one received from our own team. That’s because as human beings we need to feel that we’re doing a good job and making a real contribution to the team. The feeling of identity and commitment is a two-way street and the team will also benefit from letting its members know about their importance to its success.

  • COMMUNICATE CORRECTLY: Always keep a two-way communication channel, open and continuous with the rest of the team members. Efficient communication ensures that there’s more clarity and flow among the team members and therefore reduces the level of tension.

  • COORDINATE YOURSELF: Make sure that the given instructions are clear, without any confusion or contradiction. You’ve got to refine the communication agreements within the team. Write down the messages as often as you can, send an email and always keep the questions of the team members open.

  • DON’T BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING A NEGATIVE ATMOSPHERE: Threats of layoffs, punishments for mistakes and shoving the costs of the mistakes in the employees’ faces aren’t viable solutions. These will only create more stress, more tension, less motivation, less trust and a more apprehensive climate overall.

  • BEWARE OF YOUR OWN MOOD: Your mood usually affects your subordinates. Therefore, you need to treat others with respect and friendliness. That way, you’ll gain their trust and the minute you’ll put on a sour face, it’ll be because something was really worth it.

Working in a place in which you don’t feel part of the team is like going to work in hell. In other words, being the social beings that we are, it’s vital for our happiness to feel in harmony with the company and its people. For you to feel like your job has more meaning than being just a job, it’s necessary for you to feel identified, engaged and committed to your work life. Obviously, it’s not easy to keep all of your company members happy.

However, the constant effort to maintain the stability of your team within a pleasant workplace climate can make a huge difference, which will eventually benefit the team members and the company as a whole. In general, the main objective of the company’s executives is to keep the clients happy. However, they often forget that one must have well trained and motivated employees in order to achieve excellent service.

Therefore, for all employees to accomplish their roles, they must feel part of the company and be good team players. Stimulation when facing achievements and failures must be constant, for the people to feel part of the team and feel capable of putting all of their skills to good use. If you’re in a leadership position within the team, you’ve got to understand that the pride felt by the individuals of your team comes from its efforts to keep a good workplace climate, having good practices and finally, having a constant commitment to its members. All of the members are responsible for creating a healthy climate. The sum of everyone’s efforts makes the whole.

SubCategories of Identity:

Team:

This measures how much do people feel identified with their team.

Organization:

Here we measure how much people within the organization feel like they're genuinely part of it. How much pride they feel about working in the company.

Individual:

This subcategory measures how much people feel that their work is something that defines them. How identified they feel with what they do.

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