Skip to main content
Belonging hero image of a loving couple in a city street

Human beings are inherently social creatures. The inclination to connect with others and to belong is deeply embedded in our DNA. In humanity’s earliest days, that instinct helped ensure our survival in a harsh and unpredictable world. That instinct still guides us in the direction of better well-being.

In 2020, connections became more complicated. The pandemic forced us to sacrifice physical proximity to our friends, colleagues and loved ones to protect them and ourselves from COVID-19. And the realities of us who are people of color exposed how much is still needed for an inclusive, just and more harmonious community.

So we held meetings or get-togethers on screens, or sitting six feet apart in the backyard. In doing so, many of us came to appreciate the emotional and physical richness of the hugs, the handshakes and the jokes whispered in our ear that we’d perhaps once taken for granted. We also found very visible ways to elevate the dream of realizing a world where everyone feels they belong.

group of people headline icon

Our ways to feel connected go beyond being in the presence of others, extending to ideas and collaboration. We may even feel connected spiritually when we’re alone through the power of being cared for.

It’s important to recognize and reframe the many ways we establish meaningful connections.

Belonging is cultivated in multiple ways, and if we look carefully, we see that many positive connections endure within our Humana community. For example, compared to 2019, a higher percentage of us believe we can fully be ourselves at work, meaning we’re more likely to feel seen and heard, and we’re reaffirming our bonds with one another. We’re also bonded by our common purpose.

Being optimistic about making these connections and realizing their benefits helps our well-being. When we adopt a positive mindset, our overall sense of belonging is 36 percent higher, according to the Humana Well-being Index.

Our sense of belonging, emotional health and overall well-being are strongly connected.

Having meaningful connections with one another gives us energy for multiple aspects of our lives. A strong sense of belonging is associated with us experiencing more than three additional Healthy Days per month as well as 15 percent less stress and higher well-being across all dimensions.

Feeling welcomed and bonded with our colleagues adds meaning and purpose to our work, giving us additional motivation to support and care for others, along with ourselves. All of these experiences confirm that we’re not alone and that we are safe in the world.

Tiffany Sprinkle quote start

I jump on that site and it just turns my day around in a blink of an eye. I see that I'm not alone.

Tiffany Sprinkle quote end

Tiffany Sprinkle
Minot, ND

Tiffany Sprinkle

Tiffany Sprinkle quote start

I jump on that site and it just turns my day around in a blink of an eye. I see that I'm not alone.

Tiffany Sprinkle quote end

Tiffany Sprinkle
Minot, ND

TIFFANY SPRINKLE
SEE MORE STORIES →
CONTINUE READING →

 Jeff Strommen quote start

We are truly better together.

Jeff Strommen quote end

Jeff Strommen
Green Bay, WI

Jeff Strommen

Jeff Strommen quote start

We are truly better together.

Jeff Strommen quote end

Jeff Strommen
Green Bay, WI

JEFF STROMMEN
SEE MORE STORIES →
CONTINUE READING →
76.0 in 2020

Belonging Score

87.0

2019

94.0

2018

88.0

2017

100

2016

  •  belonging overall score
In a year when we all learned – and lived – the concept of social distancing, it’s no surprise our sense of belonging changed. Our Belonging Score moved to its lowest point in six years.
belonging icon - humans hugging

Inclusive Connections

While we were separated from one another for nearly all of 2020, Humana’s existing avenues for connection and collaboration helped us maintain, and in some cases expand, our relationships. Buzz interactions jumped to an all-time high in 2020. More than 11 percent of us had elevated engagement on Buzz in the last quarter of 2020, totaling almost 125,000 posts. Plus, Network Resource Group (NRG) participation remained steady, with one third of us belonging to at least one group, meaning we’ve achieved our goal in this measure for the second straight year.

Inclusive Connections 2019 2020 Goal
Network Resource Group (NRG) Participation 33.5% 33.3% 33%
We have an environment where everyone can fully be themselves 80.3% 81.8% 84%
Making at Least 4 Posts on Buzz within Last Quarter 9.7% 11.2% 14%
  • Inclusive-connections-NRG-participation
  •  Inclusive-connections-environment
  • Inclusive-connections
belonging icon - humans hugging

Humana Well-being Index

The need to shelter and socially distance from friends, family and colleagues took a toll on everyone in our community and beyond, and the Humana Well-being Index reflects that. All three aspects of Belonging – Social, Community, and Family – experienced significant declines. But why measure what we all knew to be true? Because the innate needs are always there, and there’s insight in comparison. The benefit of this is that we see, perhaps more clearly than ever, how much we matter to one another, and how much we improve each other’s well-being just by being present, active and positive influences on each other’s lives.

Humana Well-being Index 2019 2020 Goal
Humana Well-being Index: Belonging 3.13 2.76 3.34
Social 3.40 3.04 3.50
Community 2.29 1.89 2.51
Family 3.71 3.35 4.00
  • well-being-index-survey-belonging
  • well-being-index-social
  •  well-being-index-community
  • well-being-index-family

SECURITY →

Join the conversation on Buzz!   |   Have feedback? Share it with us!
Glossary
Join the conversation on Buzz!
Have feedback? Share it with us!
Glossary
DOWNLOAD THE PDF →
belonging-mobile icon
Green and White Humana H