The producers of the TV show Cheers were on to something brilliant when they picked Where Everybody Knows Your Name as the show’s theme song.
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
-by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo
We all have an intense desire to belong. Belonging becomes much more complicated as we enter the workforce. Perhaps we are the only one at our organization in our profession. Maybe we are at a top level and leadership can be lonely. Perhaps we are the only one with a particular view point? Maybe we are having a hard time connecting with others at work because of timing, intrenched cliques, etc. We spend 40+ hours each week at work and many of us don’t feel like we belong. As more and more pressure is applied to employees in nearly every organization, every profession and at every level, the feeling of belonging at work will be come more rare.
Of course this is the beauty of associations! Here is a place where members can find more people just like them. People who not only do what they do but who also have the same worldview. This is a powerful story. More powerful perhaps now than it ever was. The trick is then, telling that story.