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Tip 241 - The Need to Belong, Part 3

Leaders are responsible for setting the conditions for belonging. Words matter, and what is appropriate and inclusive evolves and changes over time. It is essential to listen, watch, learn, engage, and reengage. To increase inclusiveness, consider the policies and procedures within the organization. Have employees of various identifiers and life circumstances been asked to review drafts of these documents so they can provide feedback? Getting honest feedback requires a culture of trust, one in which people feel safe sharing the truth. When concerns have been raised in the past, have leaders listened to that feedback, assessed it carefully, and acted on it?

A sense of belonging is key to our overall sense of wellness as human beings. When people find themselves in the “only” category - when they do not see themselves reflected in the organization or in its leadership - this absence can impact how they define their possibilities. Representation matters. It demonstrates that an organization is upholding at least the infrastructure of connection, and that includes people seeing themselves reflected within their teams and across the organization in a meaningful way. It includes not just who is in the organization, but who is making the decisions in the organization.


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