Belongify is a workplace culture startup, and we’ve developed an efficient and powerful system that equips leaders to improve team performance by creating a culture of Belonging.
We believe belonging is at the very core of thriving, high-performing work cultures. People fully contribute when they feel and act as if they belong. Teams excel when leaders are invested in everyone feeling more connected. When they feel safe enough to show up as themselves and contribute their very best, results become better, even extraordinary.
Delivered in five unique one-hour online sessions facilitated by a Certified Belongify Coach, we help teams experience the power and impact a culture of belonging can bring.
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in northern Alberta, applied a degree in chemical engineering to the water treatment sector, worked internationally as a humanitarian worker with Doctors Without Borders, and landed as an executive leader, first at Doctors Without Borders Canada, and now as the CEO of Belongify. I’m a systems thinker and problem-solver, and my drive to find solutions is backed by a deep value of different perspectives and the patience to discover root causes leading to sustainable, systems-level outcomes.
Why Belongify and workplace culture? As a leader, when you create the conditions of belonging in your team together, you will go further, be more effective, and surpass everyone’s expectations. Things will click. You’ll feel supported. Everything will be more fun. Others will want in. You’ll get better results. I’ve led teams where this worked and also where it didn’t. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, and the Belongify system actually provides a mechanism to consistently get you and your team there. That’s why I’m involved. It is the most inclusive and effective leadership model I’ve encountered, and I truly look forward to helping leaders and their teams apply the Belongify system to unleash their full potential.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Take more time to enjoy muffin Mondays and ninja training in the basement and explore the creek near our house! After many hectic years as Deputy Director at Doctors Without Borders Canada, I stepped away from the thrill of it all to stay at home with my then four and six-year-old boys. That was three years ago and was a dramatic shift in priorities, activities and pace. While I enjoyed much of it and certainly did all of those things (and so much more!), kids grow up fast, and I always have projects on the go. And wish I had leaned into that role a bit more.
What problem does your business solve?
Creating a culture of Belonging is a priority for many leaders and organizations, but how will they do it? Belongify provides a tangible strategy to do exactly this, first for small teams but also across entire organizations. We increase retention, improve engagement, and go beyond Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy. It is a simple, fast, affordable, and effective experience designed to accelerate performance and create exceptional value for individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
After 40 years in executive roles (CEO, COO, EVP Sales and CPO in public / private and small, medium, and large organizations), Lorne Rubis (co-founder and Chief Belongify Officer) had an opportunity to reflect on what he really learned. He asked himself, if he was a CEO again, what he might do to dramatically increase the productivity of teams while reinforcing a people-first, human-centred mindset. He studied what leaders did to create high-performing teams and get exceptional results while ensuring team members felt a great sense of belonging and contribution! The answers to that deep reflection led to the creation of Belongify.
What is your magic sauce?
There is no “magic” at all, just a tried and true formula that is designed to equip leaders to advance any hybrid or remote team from where they are to where they want to go. And it’s repeatable. Every team who’s been through the system agrees and wants more. We occupy a unique space that focuses on teams and sits between executive coaching and organizational training. We also don’t lecture. Instead, our certified facilitators put leaders and their teams through a series of one-hour sessions where they get to experience what working in a culture of belonging might feel like, and this lights the spark they need to take it further.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Impact and scale. We are hoping to directly impact 10,000 leaders by the end of 2025, improving performance and creating a greater sense of meaningful belonging in their teams. This means 10,000 teams will have improved performance, and about 100,000 people will have a greater sense of meaningful belonging at work. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
We know that there is a difference between understanding the importance of building a culture of belonging and investing in it. Teams are rightly focused on achieving the results and actions they’ve committed to, and we get it. Who has the time and/or extra budget to interrupt the daily grind for intentional culture building? We would argue that a sense of belonging ultimately achieves better results, higher productivity, top talent acquisition as well as lower turnover, and we’re simply excited for the challenge of letting organizations make that discovery with us!
How can people get involved?
We work with leaders who have mastered the leadership basics, deeply care about their people, and are looking to lead from where they are. They feel responsible for creating high-performing teams and for the personal growth of the people within them. They want to create a place where they feel connected, valued and can show up as themselves, and they want their team members to feel the same. They hope to take their team to a new level, differentiating themselves while also creating exceptional value for the organization.
Does this sound like you? Does your organization strive for a culture of belonging but just isn’t sure how to get there? You can find more information on our website (www.belongify.com) or simply get in touch directly ([email protected])!
We also offer an ICF-accredited certification program, where HR practitioners can become certified to deliver the Belongify System on their own. Our next session is on March 8, 2023, so don’t delay! See our website for more information and to register (www.belongify.com/get-certified).