The Belonging Continuum™

A group of impact-minded PhDs, researchers, and practitioners came together and spent nearly two years reviewing over 20,000 pages of research.  Together, and as a result of rigorous development and validity testing, it was determined that:

  • It is not inclusion, but rather belonging that matters
  • There are three levels of belonging
  • Belonging can be measured precisely

Based on 11 factors of belongingness, each employee can be plotted on a six-stage continuum.  Each stage contains clear definitions and delineations steeped in extensive research, and scoring is based on complex algorithms.

Four Categories

Belongingness by definition is multi-dimensional and is a function of individual, management, and corporate alignment in four categories:

  • Social Alignment
  • Managerial Alignment
  • Corporate Alignment
  • Personal Alignment

The 11 Factors of Belongingness

Belongingness is based on an individual’s intrinsic needs, is in the eye of the individual, and although social, organizational, managerial, and corporate drivers contribute, five of the factors lie within the agency and control of the individual. The 11 factors that make up belongingness are:


  • Peer Perception – An individual’s perception of how their co-workers respect, recognize, and value them
  • Peer Contentedness – An individual’s perception of having meaningful, open, and positive relationships with co-workers


  • Stability – An individual’s perception of their ability to trust others, take risks, be supported, and be secure in their job role
  • Organizational Culture – An individual’s perception of their alignment and fit with organizational values, culture, and traditions


  • Feedback – An individual’s perception of the clarity, regularity, and helpfulness of managerial feedback
  • Autonomy – An individual’s perception of their freedom to structure work time, tasks, and have ownership over their decisions


  • Intrinsic Motivation – An individual’s motivation through internal enjoyment, appreciation, and pride in work
  • Extrinsic Motivation – An individual’s motivation through job security, advancement, and reputation
  • Mentoring and Support – An individual’s preference for structure, supervision, and mentoring
  • High-Performance – An individual’s perception of their unique contributions, performance, and expertise
  • High-Potential – An individual’s drive to seek out new tasks, roles, and responsibilities