Creating a sense of genuine belonging in the workplace

It takes more than words, webinars and holiday observances. True inclusion requires long-term investment—and better storytelling.

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How to create a sense of belonging

When’s the last time you felt like you didn’t belong?

You might be surprised how many employees experience that queasy, anxious feeling of unease every time they clock in. What can you do to combat such an untenable situation?

At Ragan’s May 19 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion virtual conference, speakers covered a multitude of DE&I topics, including a dive into the core concept of belonging. It seems like a basic, bare-bones idea, but do your employees feel welcome at work? According to Amrit Nijjar, a U.K.-based inclusion expert, belonging is about feeling relaxed, confident and hopeful. It’s about feeling free to speak your mind and be your true self. True belonging “builds confidence, which ties directly to ability and productivity,” she says.

Nijjar encouraged attendees to think about times they felt like they didn’t quite fit or feel fully accepted. How did that make you feel, and how did such feelings affect your performance?

Before taking strides to address DE&I deficiencies, Nijjar offered a few essential reminders to establish a strategic framework.

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