We all want to create a workplace where everyone feels that they belong and are included. It is the right thing to do, and it certainly improves teamwork.
But exactly how do we do this? A recent article from Harvard Business Review provides some insights.
First, when we say “belonging,” we mean that people feel:
*Seen for their unique contributions
*Connected to their co-workers
*Supported in their daily work and career aspirations
*Proud of their organization’s values and purpose
Here are actions we can take to build this kind of culture and feeling among those with whom we work:
1. Put a spotlight on role models. Highlight the diverse leaders that you have and acknowledge them appropriately.
2. Senior leaders need to be inclusive. Model this behavior by listening to all views empathetically. Connect with people throughout the organization.
3. Managers need to be responsive, appreciative, and empowering. Take the time to provide feedback, praise, and attention to concerns.
4. Colleagues need to be supportive and appreciative – and provide feedback. At the peer level, be actively supportive of one another.
As with any culture change, the initiative from this effort must come from senior leaders and supported by others throughout the management ranks. We all want to belong. It takes intentional, continued action to create this kind of culture.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Kennedy, J. T. Pooja, J. “What Does it Take to Build a Culture of Belonging?” Harvard Business Review online, June 21, 2021.