Faculty Perceptions of Belongingness: Examining Esteem, Efficacy, and Connectedness to Improve Employee Satisfaction and Retention
Repository Posting Date2016-03-17T12:51:45Z
Author(s)Welling, Sandra; Luoma, Kari L.; Ferluga, Kriss; Berens, Marlene M.; Offenbecker, Susan Kaye
Author DetailsSandra Welling, RN, CCM; Kari L. Luoma, RN; Kriss Ferluga; Marlene M. Berens, RN, FNP-BC; Susan Kaye Offenbecker, RN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Session presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate new faculty's sense of belongingness to an educational institution within their first two years of teaching. The primary motivation is that of faculty retention, as building a committed community of instructors may ultimately impact the success and retention of students. Methods: This research is a mixed methods study designed to gauge new faculty's sense of belonging within the university community. Built upon a theoretical foundation of social identity and social construction, the researchers are using a combination of quantitative surveys and qualitative phenomenological inquiry to investigate how participants define mentoring, and the extent to which they feel they are a part of their teaching peer group. Participants completed qualitative and quantitative intake assessments when the program began to establish baseline information. The researchers paired 10 experienced faculty mentors with new faculty proteges. The proteges were defined as new faculty who were employed at a university within a MidwesteRNtate for less than two years. Mentors were defined as seasoned faculty who have been employed at a university in a MidwesteRNtate for more than five years. The participants were asked to complete the Levett-Jones Belongingness Scale Workplace Experience (BSWE) tool to obtain quantitative data related to belongingness. The Belongingness tool tests for efficacy, esteem, and connectedness. At the completion of the introduction to mentoring session, paired individuals were asked to engage in a trust exercise to establish their perceptions of trust in leadership and mentoring. Results: The results from the quantitative study indicated that there is a significant difference in the variables of esteem and connectedness, as new faculty do not feel that they are supported in their new role. The question in the belongingness tool related to esteem indicated the proteges do not feel that they fit in, do not perceive a sense of belonging, and feel like an outsider. In addition, proteges in this study do not feel they get support from colleagues, are not understood, are not accepted, are not welcomed, do not feel part of things, and do not like where they work. The questions in the belongingness tool related to connectedness indicated the proteges perceive that their ideas and opinions do not matter, colleagues do not notice when they are absent, and that their colleagues do not confide in them. Results from the qualitative component indicated there is an importance of belonging among the individual participants and the institution's need to foster a sense of community to which employees can belong. Utilizing a structured mentoring program to build that community is instilling feelings of value among participants, which, in tuRNcould heighten their sense of belonging. The results indicate there is an importance of belonging among participants in the study. An institution needs to foster a sense of community to which employees can belong. Utilizing a structured mentoring program to build that community is instilling feelings of value among participants, which, in tuRNcould heighten their sense of belonging. Conclusion: Extrapolating from preliminary findings, the researchers have reason to conclude that opportunities for new employees to come together in structured programs that imbue a sense of value, such as those that provide mentoring, can build and reinforce the sense of institutional and professional belonging that leads to retention. Though this study is limited to new faculty within a single higher education institution, the program built here has the potential for broader application, and could also be used to good effect among nurses and nurse educators. Supportive measures should be initiated to enhance esteem and connectedness in the entry level educator. Data from this study was utilized to redesign a formal mentorship program where mentors were paired with proteges. The paired groups will participate in the formal mentorship program focusing on supportive and valuing exercises to enhance esteem and connectedness for the newly employed educator to improve the sense of belongingness.
DescriptionResearch Congress 2015 Theme: Question Locally, Engage Regionally, Apply Globally. Held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
Conference Name26th international Nursing Research Congress
Conference HostSigma Theta Tau international, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference LocationSan Juan, Puerto Rico
Date of Publication2016-03-17
NotesItems submitted to a conference/event were evaluated/peer-reviewed at the time of abstract submission to the event. No other peer-review was provided prior to submission to the Henderson Repository.
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