Striving for more diversity and inclusion is a noble ambition. But is it enough to let everyone feel at ease? Probably not. So, we increasingly hear about DEIB. It’s short for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The last one—belonging—is something you can’t do without in 2022. You need to create a sense of belonging if you really want to be an inclusive workplace. Not feeling like you belong means feeling like an outsider. And it can cause a lot of tension and anxiety. But how do you recognize a situation where there is a lack of belonging? And how do you create a culture of belonging?
A lack of belonging
Employees who don’t feel like they belong usually don’t speak out about this. They often don’t feel like they can bring up their concerns. Therefore, you’ll need to discover those feelings of not belonging yourself. Luckily, there are signs you can spot when employees are struggling with belonging:
- Do some employees rarely speak up about new ideas? And is it always the same employee that contributes to a discussion? Then chances are that the quiet ones don’t feel like they belong.
- “Right, yeah, uh-huh and hmm.” Do you hear these a lot from an employee when someone else is speaking? Then this person prefers backchanneling over direct communication. It’s a sign that an employee doesn’t feel like he or she belongs.
Employees who don’t feel like they belong tend to hang back. They feel disempowered and unable to contribute.
Create a culture of belonging
Belonging is difficult to measure. But when employees don’t feel like they belong, it’s felt throughout the organization. Therefore, it’s important to create a culture of belonging. Employees need to feel like they are welcome to participate. They need to feel safe and secure in their roles. And you need to build effective working relationships.
Employees need to feel supported, connected and part of a community. And most importantly, they need to feel valued for their contributions. These are important drivers for belonging. When employees support the purpose, mission and value of the organization, they feel more connected. This also increases the feeling of belonging. So it can be useful to involve employees more in what it is you want to achieve.
Textmetrics and the B of belonging in DEIB
At Textmetrics, we offer a platform you can use to reach your DEIB goals. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that empower you to improve all written communication. You can use it for writing content that appeals to everyone. That’s important if you want to create a culture of belonging. And a place where people know that whatever makes them diverse is welcomed and celebrated.
Want to try Textmetrics? Click here for a free trial!