A sense of belonging to a group is something we all desire. Whether that is at home, at work, or in our community. It comes down to social connection, which is one of our most basic needs. When that need isn’t met, it can actually cause us to feel pain physically, emotionally, and mentally. When we have that sense of belonging and feel a sense of inclusion, it can help to create a more meaningful life. It makes us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
This is why more and more companies are actively striving for a diverse and inclusive workplace. They want their employees to feel welcome and that they can be themselves. Research has shown that creating a sense of belonging in the workplace results in greater on-the-job effort and high employee performance.
Here are some ways to foster diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace :
Employees should not feel like they are outsiders in their own workplace. This will only make them suppress parts of themselves that make them unique. The workplace should not be a “one size fits all” type of environment. Strive for a workplace culture in which individuality is both noticed and valued. Allow them to show up as their true selves, not a watered-down version of it.
2. Ask for input
Leaders can encourage inclusion by simply asking team members for their input. Instead of just assigning each employee with a role in the project, leaders could explain the end goal and then ask how they’d like to contribute. That empowers them to decide the role they’d each like to play, thus making them more personally invested in the outcome.
3. Plan events and holidays that represent everyone
Initiating diversity in planning and holding celebratory events to highlight underrepresented groups are highly effective at creating cultures of belonging.