Belonging: The Third Piece of the Diversity & Inclusion Puzzle
Every week, it’s not unusual to see a headline about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace—whether it’s because a company is making strides in this area or they’re discovering an opportunity to do more. Business is increasingly focused on embracing D&I because they know that when they get it right, they’ll reap rewards like a better employer brand that attracts and retains high-performing people, improved performance and productivity, and even higher profits.
While many companies execute their D&I initiatives through their corporate strategies, we’ve learned there’s a crucial factor that, when taken into consideration, helps their efforts become a true culture and performance driver: belonging.
Belonging is that feeling of being accepted as one’s authentic self without fear of different treatment or punishment, and studies show that it leads to more than just good vibes and friendships in the workplace—it improves employee retention and pride and it can even be a more powerful motivator for some people than money.
Conversely, when a workplace doesn’t foster a sense of belonging, employee engagement suffers by up to 30%, with negative trickle-down effects in other areas.