Creating a Culture of Belonging Takes Us All

By Emily Bissel

You know that bad dream where you show up to work without any clothes on? That’s how people who don’t have a sense of belonging at work feel all-the-time. They’re uncomfortable. They know something’s not right and that they don’t fit in. Frankly, they just can’t wait to get out of there.


Sounds horrible, right? 


That’s why it’s important that everyone feels a sense of belonging at work. A sense of belonging supports you to feel confident in the workplace and helps create trust amongst colleagues. It creates an environment where everyone feels included, welcomed and supported to perform their best.


Belonging impacts it all

Outside of work, it’s easier to avoid situations where you don’t feel like you belong. If you find yourself in a place or situation where you don’t feel comfortable, you can generally leave. However, the same can’t be said for the workplace.


If you don’t feel comfortable or like you belong at work, it’s a lot harder to just move on. It can take months to land another job, and the whole process takes a lot of energy and time — two things you probably already don’t have enough of (especially looking at you working parents!)


This can mean that people often get stuck in workplaces that don’t work for them, with some spending the majority of their lives feeling out-of-place. This can take a tremendous toll on a person’s well-being. 


All of which means that it’s essential that we create cultures in the workplace where everyone feels like they belong.

(Side note: If you want to learn more about belonging, download our insight report, ‘The Power of Belonging’ here.)


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Let's talk about belonging

This month, we hosted our ‘Belonging’ conversation, as part of our Inclusion & Belonging Membership Journey, with a marvelous group of people. We talked about how institutions built on exclusion had space for us to inspire change and how many did not know the term “othering” which really showcased how they’d felt before.


Hear from one of the attendees, Kayli

The Belonging conversation was wonderful! I was with a diverse group of people with experiences that vary greatly from mine, so I got to imagine being in situations I rarely find myself in.


The conversation reminded me that, "we all check one box - human." Sharing humanity means we should approach one another with love, respect, and empathy.


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We left the conversation feeling inspired and ready to take action:


“I feel people need to come out of their cultural cocoons and explore the world around them and embrace it. This platform is facilitating that.” — Nidhi Sharma


“The conversation has been a long time coming. My hat goes off to the ones that thought to create such a platform and those of us that showed to make a difference.” — Otis Shelton


“The conversation made me change the way I think about how I need to belong in my community or in a workplace.” — Aurii Houston


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It’s important to create a safe space for employees because we are not defined by our jobs. Through having courageous conversations, we can explore how we can create truly inclusive cultures for all.

If you want to experience the Belonging conversation and other topics on our Inclusion & Belonging Membership Journey, click here.


Tags: Diversity, Workplace, DEI, Inclusion, Well-Being, Belonging

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