Have you ever found yourself in a space where you felt like an outsider? Nearly all of us have at one time or another, and can recall how isolating and anxiety-inducing that experience was. Sadly, for some individuals (because of their gender, race, culture, sexuality or other factors), feeling that they don’t belong in certain spaces happens all too often. How can we expect anyone to thrive — or even remain — in an environment where they don’t feel they belong?
Belonging is a sense of safety, security and support that makes it possible for an individual to feel comfortable being their unique and authentic selves in their space. People who feel they belong are happier personally and professionally, and they are more productive because of it. This is why it’s critical that companies are deliberate in building relationships and cultivating healthy, inclusive environments. We must create communities and corporate cultures where each and every individual feels valued, respected and included.
As Vernā Myers once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” It is not enough to simply tell a marginalized person that they belong. Leaders must make meaningful accommodations to your environment that actually make them feel a sense of belonging, in a space that’s free from bias. They should be comfortable at work, and feel like their colleagues are happy to have them there, just the way they are.
Broadly speaking, strive to ensure you are providing all candidates with equal opportunities for employment, the tools and training for success in their positions, and advancement within the organization. When considering what changes you may adapt to celebrate differences and make your organization more inclusive, be sure to invite your employees into that conversation to share their perspectives.
Embracing DEI can truly uplift your workplace. For more information, contact D5 Consulting Group today.