In today’s uncertain times, it has never been more important for employees to feel a sense of security in the organizations they devote their time and energy to work for. A recent survey of 1,000 employees across industries in five countries showed a large majority of people (82%) feel some sense of belonging in their workplace, but only 45% of employees strongly agree that they feel they belong at their organization.

The top three factors that make people feel they belong at the organization where they work are: being recognized for accomplishments (61%), feeling contributions are valued (59%), and having opportunities to express honest opinions (40%.) The top three barriers to achieving a sense of belonging and connectedness in the workplace are lack of appreciation or recognition (45%), heavy workload (45%), and inadequate leadership (37%).

The free research report, Creating a Sense of Belonging in the Workplace, is now available for download.’s HR Research Institute partnered with Ultimate Software, a leading human capital management solutions provider, to conduct the cross-cultural survey of workers at organizations with more than 200 employees in Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Despite identifying these factors, less than half of workers (49%) feel their organizations are supportive and just more than one in three (37%) can get answers quickly to questions or concerns about work/working for the organization. Results also reveal that one in three (32%) workers strongly agree the company conducts regular satisfaction surveys and even fewer (24%) that their employer follows through with effective action plans to surveys.

More detailed investigation highlights the fact that only about a quarter of people (26%) strongly agree that their organization’s communication programs and techniques are effective.  This lack of basic listening infrastructure and communication capabilities highlight weaknesses that need to improve, particularly in an expanding era of remote work.

Further results show that the next most cited factor that gets in the way of a sense of belonging at work is too few opportunities to meet face to face, with one in three (31%) citing this as a barrier to feeling connected at work.  The exact same proportion agrees they feel lonely at work.

“If employers want to create a greater sense of belonging, they will need to address these issues as well as the fact that nearly half of employees are suffering from burn-out,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “Especially in light of current events, leadership should ensure everyone knows their roles in communicating and supporting each other to stave off feelings of isolation and disengagement, as well as understand the relative value of diverse communications offerings to literally connect people in this digital day and age.”

Download the full report and/or infographic which include additional strategic insights and key takeaways to help individuals, HR professionals, and organizational leaders alike understand how to foster a sense of belonging and inclusiveness in the workplace.



About Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software is a leading global provider of cloud human capital management and employee experience solutions, with more than 51 million people records in the cloud. Ultimate’s award-winning UltiPro delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management, as well as HR service delivery solutions. Founded in 1990, Ultimate is headquartered in Weston, Florida, and employs approximately 6,000 professionals. More information on Ultimate’s products and services can be found at

About and the HR Research Institute’s HR Research Institute helps HR departments keep their finger on the pulse of HR! is committed to creating inspired and informed workforces by maximizing the potential of HR professionals around the world.  Over 1.75 million HR professionals rely on as the foremost, trusted industry resource for education, career development, and compliance (that many people can’t be wrong!).  Offerings include the largest network of HR executives, leading-edge industry research from the HR Research Institute, 13 monthly HR-themed epublications, innovative HR education including 250+ annual webcasts, the most comprehensive HR certification exam preparation program supporting SHRM and HRCI certification, as well as helpful HR tools and legal compliance updates. has the largest knowledge base of HR practices globally and offers unparalleled training and networking for HR professionals all over the world… 24/7… 365 (just in case you can’t get enough HR).  Visit to download research (always free) and to maximize HR potential. #hrresearchinstitute

For more information, contact:
Debbie McGrath
Chief Instigator and CEO,
[email protected]