Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

What is Belonging?

Although there is a lot of focus on the separate concepts of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace, the underlying purpose of these three policies is to increase Belonging

We think of Belonging as the goal of every healthy organisation.

We seek to increase Diversity in the workplace so that everyone feels represented and so that our work, products and services cater for everyone. True diversity is about attitude, not a tick box exercise. It’s about valuing the differences that people bring and tackling the weakness of a homogenous workforce where everyone looks the same and thinks the same.

We focus on Equity in the workplace so that everyone has the resources that they need to do their job to the best of the ability. It’s about supporting everyone to grow to be the best version of themselves, enabling the workplace to be the most creative and productive it can be.

We emphasise Inclusion in the workplace so that employees feel part of what’s happening, and have a sense of ownership, purpose and value. When people are included, they care about the products and services offered, and your clients and customers feel that difference.

There is one step beyond those three, and that is Belonging. That’s the beautiful combination of all three, when we feel like the workplace is where we belong. We are welcome, we are part of the team, we are supported and supportive. We trust the organisation to look after us, and we look after the organisation.

Asking The Right Questions

How Do We Measure Belonging?

We use a small number of likert statements specifically designed to look at each aspect of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. 

Examples might include:

  • I can be myself at work.
  • I never feel discriminated against because of my gender.
  • I am trusted by the organisation.

Essentially, we are looking to analyse how much people feel the impact of diversity, equity and inclusion work. 

It becomes even more important here not to focus on the top line numbers – where the majority opinion can outweigh the minority. Instead, we deep dive into gender, sexuality, age, disability and so on, to ensure that there aren’t groups being left behind or feeling discriminated against. 

We Are Stronger Together

The Link Between Resilience & Belonging

Our social support network is one of the four fundamental pillars of resilience. When we have people around us that we trust, who will support us when we need it, who won’t judge us, who won’t punish us for being vulnerable… then we are much stronger for it.

When we turn up to work and people are pleased to see us, it lightens the load. 

When we can share our concerns, stress and anxiety with others, the burden is easier.

But more importantly, feeling less alone makes us stronger.

On the other hand, if the workplace is highly competitive, mental health is weaponised, gossip is rife and your staff feel unwelcome… well that has the opposite effect. 

Is your workplace adding to your employee stress or helping with it?

Is your company culture giving people a sense of belonging, support and trust? Or is it leaving people resentful, fearful and distrusting?

We Stay Where We Belong

The Link Between Belonging and Staff Retention

We lose employees in three main ways – 

  1. Resignation
  2. Sickness
  3. Quiet Quitting

Obviously, the more people feel that they belong, the less likely they are to want to leave. When a place feels natural to be in, the people around us have our backs and we trust the organisation to look after us, we are very unlikely to leave. 

We are also less likely to get sick – a sense of belonging to a team has a significant effect on our stress levels, which in turn means less illness.

But the quiet third way that we lose people from work is Quiet Quitting. This is when people just give up and sense of loyalty to the company and do the minimum effort to keep their job. That’s a slow death and morale killer for any team.

A strong sense of belonging brings with it a genuine sense of loyalty to the team and the organisation. We are far more likely to put ourselves out, help other people, do overtime and offer creative solutions when we care about the organisation.

People who feel that they belong don’t quiet quit.