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Welcome to a new year of learning! Last year, we introduced the Learning Framework, an in-depth and guided model to help our team members learn content in different ways. The Learning Framework has been revamped through your feedback to meet team member and agency needs.

We are starting the year with Sense of Belonging as the month’s theme. This month, join us as we discuss the importance of belonging in the workplace, psychological safety, and best practices. As a team member, what does belonging look like to you, and why should you care about it? Supervisors, how do you create belonging on your teams?

A prerequisite of belonging is psychological safety. This is the concept that sharing your thoughts will not result in embarrassment or retaliation. It positively encourages risk-taking! Positive risk-taking might look like implementing a new program and being unsure if it will be an immediate success. You know that no matter what, your team and supervisor have your back. Psychological safety also looks like the constant practice of empathy – going beyond just asking for feedback. Those that create psychological safety actively solicit feedback, which might look like, “I value your input on this; what are your thoughts?” Find out more about psychological safety here.

Once psychological safety has been established in your office, you can begin exploring how to build belonging for yourself and your team. Everyone should feel that they have found community and feel valued, included, and heard. You cannot have belonging if these things are not happening. Aside from making the workforce more comfortable and welcomed in their roles, belonging significantly impacts other metrics. For example, organizations with high belonging have higher retention, productivity, and often better outcomes. You can find out more about belonging here.

The 2023 Learning Framework’s theme is “Fostering a Sense of Belonging through Learning.” You will find curated content each month focused on a designated outcome with ties to belonging. Each month will feature a new topic related to Quarterly Pulse Survey outcomes and features content from The Missouri Way Training Series, MO Learning, and many external resources. The Learning Framework was created to save time researching development opportunities on your own and provide common learning opportunities for all team members. Now, you have more time to focus on your day-to-day work. Use this monthly guide to help you reach your professional goals throughout the year!

Don’t forget – we offer monthly live training opportunities as part of the Learning Framework. Reserve your spot today by registering here. Looking for more learning content on sense of belonging? Find out more on the January page of the Learning Framework. The ENGAGE team is always here to help. If you have any questions, please email the Talent Management Help Desk at engage@oa.mo.gov or 573-526-4500.