Importance of feeling connected at work to our identity

The motive force of identity is a elementary human motivation to really feel possession of ourselves as people and the way we match into the world. Identity and self-concept are large drivers in our beliefs and our behaviors in relation to ourselves and others. So, when an necessary side of your self-concept is shared with others’ self-concept, we expertise shared identity. This shared identity interprets into belief, the willingness to do favors (even for strangers), and cooperative behaviors. Inside an organizational context, it interprets into larger staff alignment and efficiency.

Subsequently, we really feel a powerful sense of unity with our coworkers as a result of we determine with them in a roundabout way; in different phrases, as a result of they’re like us. Moreover, we really feel a powerful sense of connection and dedication to our group as a result of our definition of who we’re is positively influenced by the truth that we work at that firm. As an example this, let’s begin with a easy expertise that many of us could have had. If you’re an avid fan of a selected sports activities staff who has simply received a serious recreation or championship and also you cross one other fan of that very same staff whilst you’re each carrying one of their jerseys, what are the probabilities that you just’ll smile and wave at one another? Does it matter in the event you’ve ever met? Now, take it a step additional. How possible is it that you just’d do a favor for her or him? Analysis by Michael Platow and others from 1999 reveals that shared fandom of a sports activities staff does, in actual fact, lead folks to be extra possible to do a favor for strangers.

There’s a well-researched hyperlink between identity and conduct. One’s identity serves as an inside compass for decisions, together with how to act in numerous environments. For instance, in the event you determine as “a wholesome eater,” you may be extra possible to select carrots as a day snack over a bit of cake.


Nonetheless, it can be crucial to be aware that as a result of we’re concerned about controlling behaviors to drive outcomes round this idea of unity, this identity-belief hyperlink is crucial and is subsequently another reason identity is the human driver to which we hyperlink emotions of unity. This similar analysis can be why you need to recruit workers whose beliefs are already in alignment with the group. Altering a perception linked to a person’s identity might be extraordinarily troublesome.

From a cultural standpoint, the hyperlink between “unity” and “identity” is necessary as a result of folks look to the cues round them to information not solely how to behave however how to really feel about themselves. For organizations that need engaged, completely satisfied workers, this level can’t be overemphasized. From psychology, we all know that when researchers measured whether or not the person variations between folks or the setting had a much bigger influence on how folks behaved, they discovered overwhelmingly that the setting had a a lot larger influence. The Stanford Jail Experiment was one of probably the most well-known research to reveal how a lot the setting might influence how people behave. Members entered the experiment as wholesome, regular school college students, however when requested to embody the identity of a guard or a prisoner, the setting of the examine reworked them into merciless “guards” treating different people inhumanely or into powerless “prisoners” behaving like zombies obeying the guards. Folks look to their setting for cues about how they’re meant to behave, so that you’ll need to be intentional about designing the setting to create a unified group.

Excerpted from The Missing Links: Launching a High Performing Company Culture. Copyright © 2021 Laura Gallaher, Phillip Meade. Revealed in the US by Leaders Press. All rights reserved.

Laura Gallaher, PhD, is a management coach and organizational psychologist. She is the founder of Gallaher Edge. and a co-author of The Lacking Hyperlinks.

Phillip T. Meade, PhD, is a coproprietor of Gallaher Edge, and USA Today and Wall Avenue Journal best-selling author, with experience in enhancing staff cohesion, group design, management growth, course of engineering, strategic planning, and communication. He’s a co-author of The Lacking Hyperlinks.