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Building Belonging - Part 1

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” - Maya Angelou

Building a culture of belonging in your local business creates an environment where all people can feel accepted and valued. It goes without saying, when people feel accepted and valued, they are happier in their work and more engaged with your local business.

As a result, local businesses that build a culture of belonging tend to have a more productive workforce, lower turnover of staff and are more profitable.

This is nothing new, you have probably heard of diversity and inclusion. Businesses know that employing people who have unique experiences, diverse backgrounds, and individual differences creates a dynamic and innovative local business.

To achieve belonging we need diversity, inclusion and equity, so let’s define each:

Diversity

Diversity refers to the characteristics that make people unique. Inclusion refers to the behaviours and cultural norms that make people feel welcome.

Inclusion

Inclusion is when people feel valued and accepted in their team and in the wider organisation, without having to conform. Inclusive organisations support employees, regardless of their background or circumstance, to thrive at work.


Equity

Workplace equity is the concept of providing fair opportunities for all of your employees based on their individual needs.

Each element represents a different piece of the full human experience. Addressing only one or two of these falls short on achieving our ultimate goal, which is the full human experience — a sense of belonging.


So I return to the quote we started with:


“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” - Maya Angelou

Of course I am not saying that we are not to be questioned in work, I am saying that we all need a work environment where we are not questioned for who we are. This is how we begin to build belonging.




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