I’ve always seen Harry Potter as a satire on causes of extremism and radicalisation, and watching Fantastic Beasts 2 last night, this theme seemed stronger than ever. It got me thinking about rebellion and division in the workplace – how do we create a culture of belonging to ensure you retain your best staff?

Jude Law’s Dumbledore suggests that by not creating a sense of belonging for all witches and wizards, by not listening to concerns and grievances, and by using overly punitive measures against poor conduct, you are ostracizing wizards, pushing them into the arms of dark magic.

On a somewhat less awe-inspiring scale, by not listening to employees and taking overly drastic action against misconduct, you are pushing them into the arms of the negative chat at the water cooler, draining morale and resulting in recruitment issues. Everyone needs to feel that they belong, and here are some easy steps you can take to make sure that your employees feel they belong with you, and not your competitor:

  1. Listen to your employees’ ideas. That doesn’t mean acting on them all or allowing meetings to become derailed by irrelevant input – as the boss it is your job to steer the ship. But it does mean being open minded enough to consider others’ thoughts, even if it just gives insight into what makes your staff tick.
  2. Build a diverse work force. Diversity in terms of thinking styles, gender, race, class, age helps you to appeal to a wider market, but also creates a work culture where differences and individuality can be celebrated, stimulating creativity and creating an accepting culture to which people want to belong.
  3. Reward regularly. Your staff are dedicating hours of their lives to you. If someone brings in a new client, bills consistently or grows your business in any way, you need to show your appreciation. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture of ski trips or cash prizes, a simple “well done” or “thank you” will ensure your employees know you value them. And may prevent them from crossing to the Dark Side.

If you would like any advice on how to create a positive atmosphere in the work place, or of you feel undervalued and that it is time for a change, please get in touch on 01615070092.