Inclusivity doesn’t come in a one-dimensional form meaning that there’s not just one solution to achieving inclusion and making everyone feel like they can be fully themselves at work. Creating an environment where people feel a sense of belonging can be created and cultivated in many ways. If you want to read more in-depth about how to create a diversity and inclusion strategy that lasts, don’t miss our previous post on it. But for now, let’s walk through 4 steps to immediately raise a feeling of belonging in your workplace.
- Make sure you know your team enough to act when needed
At a time where parts of your team might not be physically at the office, it’s important to get to know them from afar and find ways to make your team feel seen and heard through the screen. A good way to start? Ask questions! Ask about their life outside of work, how they-re feeling, how they’ve handled quarantine. Ask the questions you might be too afraid to ask is the only way through in order to be better tomorrow. Do they have all the equipment they need to remain motivated, both practically and emotionally? Here’s a step-by-step guide with concrete ideas on how to support remote workers, and workers overall.
- Foster allyship at work
According to Forbes, employees who feel excluded have a 50% higher rate of turnover than employees who feel they belong, costing organizations about $10 million annually per 10,000 employees. Social connection is a primary need for our human existence, but still, people feel isolated and excluded at work. Everyone lives with elements of privileges and oppression, but when you’re not a part of a marginalized group, that comes with the responsibility to learn, get emotionally involved in what it means to feel excluded, and act upon it. Fostering a form of allyship is a productive and powerful way to act in order to create a more inclusive environment.
You can’t change what you don’t know. Nonetheless, it’s your responsibility to create a non-judgmental and safe space where these feelings can be shared. Surveys aren’t the whole solution but still, it’s a great starting point to pinpoint where you can improve and recognize where the underlying issue lies. Implement a routine where you frequently check the pulse! Especially if you’re working remotely and don’t share a physical space.
- Be clear about the impact your employees have
Do your employees know how they’re making an impact on the company as a whole? Are their efforts being recognized? Work becomes more real when we feel like we are contributing to a bigger scale and feeding the feeling of working for a purpose. That, we are making a difference with the work they put in. Time to get back to the purpose and follow up on it! Something that transcends what you stand for and believe, as a collective. Revisiting your purpose allows you to check in with your values and how they’re setting the tone and reflecting the company at large. Just as it’s important for your employees to understand how they are contributing, it’s important for you to grasp their individual contribution in order to more genuinely, and powerfully show appreciation and recognition of the work they put in.