Belongingness should matter to HR managers: lessons learned from outdoor adventure sport enthusiasts

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Carin Lightner-Laws
Mario V. Norman
Constance Lightner
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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<u><b>Abstract</b></u><b><br>Purpose:</b> The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of cultivating belongingness within an organization. This paper will also indicate ways human resources (HR) practitioners can enhance inclusivity and foster a more diverse workplace.<br><b><br>Design/methodology/approach:</b> This paper is written for practitioners who want to create a more inclusive organization. Exploring lessons learned from an environment seemingly disparate from a typical workplace revealed common generalizable themes. HR practitioners can use these themes to better understand the need for an intentionally designed workplace that prioritizes belonging as a means of improving overall organizational efficiency.<br><br><b>Findings</b>: Organizations compete globally for market share and consumers, who are nonhomogeneous. Attracting, retaining and growing a diverse talent pool that is representative of their heterogeneous customers will help organizations better understand and adjust to dynamic market demands. Research shows that promoting diversity, inclusion and belongingness in the workplace oftentimes enhances employee performance, improves organizational culture and increases profitability.<br><br><b>Originality/value:</b> Learnings from outdoor adventure sports are explored to garner insight for HR professionals seeking to enhance diversity and inclusion. This paper proposes three ways HR professionals could foster a more diverse environment where employees will be more engaged, empowered and fulfilled: create safe spaces, open access to opportunities and cultivate belongingness.<br><br>
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