How To Contribute To Creating A Safe, Positive, And Inclusive Work Environment

A culture of inclusion is critical in a small business and a large corporation. When setting up a diverse company, one of the considerations to put in place is organizing it in our style and being considerate of our employees. The questions that should run in our minds are – how would they desire this […]

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A culture of inclusion is critical in a small business and a large corporation. When setting up a diverse company, one of the considerations to put in place is organizing it in our style and being considerate of our employees. The questions that should run in our minds are – how would they desire this place to be? It should make no difference what gender, ethnicity, or religion the person is — the work environment should make everybody feel welcome. Organizations must promote a comfortable work environment as much as available resources, where everyone will feel included. 

Workplaces, where people feel discouraged and unhappy but must continue bringing food to their tables are far from ideal. In this suboptimal environment, such employees might feel they can never deploy their best effort, energy, or brain in any given task, in this suboptimal environment. When employees are at peace and operate in a pleasant atmosphere, they are more productive and efficient and feel at ease and pleased at work. It is not rocket science to state that a company’s success depends on its workers’ efforts. When employees do not feel welcome, they will not be able to perform at their best. Instead, they would feel uneasy and tensed, affecting their performance. 

What “Sense of Belonging” – Means in the Workplace
Although the sense of belonging, as it were, is a multifaceted phenomenon and thus can be interpreted in various ways. But, in an inclusive workplace, employees feel a sense of belonging to a business when they feel wanted, at ease, and involved. They look forward to coming in and contributing their quota the next day. Every business expects its employees to provide value to the end product or result; hence it is critical for the organization’s management to instill in employees a sense of their importance to the organization’s success. This may be accomplished by expressing gratitude, rewarding additional work, including some in decision-making (depending on their caliber), and giving them the liberty to share their abilities and thoughts – regardless of their religion, color, ethnic origin, or gender. This is the essence of a sense of belonging or inclusion. When this is secured inside an organization, stability results; on the other hand, if employees feel uneasy, harassed, or constrained, productivity will suffer, and the frequency at which they leave for other businesses will increase. 

Giving Your Workers a Feeling of Belonging at Work

This can happen with a coordinated effort between the company’s management and the human resources manager. The administration should lay out structures that will make workers feel at ease and desired at the workplace. The HR then is obligated to implement the company’s ideology of what should be the experience of the workers. 

You can do several things to foster a sense of belonging in the workforce. 

To begin, here are some simple steps: 

The HR or Team Lead Should Always be Accessible

Just having a positive work environment through sound practices is no longer sufficient. You must go the additional mile as the human resources manager or an executive board member, you must go the additional mile. It would be irrational to believe that the company culture or work environment is perfect. Naturally, issues do arise. Nobody can guarantee that they will never have problems or troubles. The only way to solve this problem is to ensure that Human Resources are available to resolve issues. 
While we’re on the subject of ‘availability,’ there is another perspective to consider. Employees might have issues and will require someone to assuage their fears. Human resources is the department in charge of these incidents. Workers should be allowed to approach you and discuss the issues to resolve them. 

Consider this crucial point: ‘Someone must be available to answer their issues. The employees should have somebody to speak to, whether it is favoritism, racial bigotry, sexual harassment, or any other uncomfortable situation. This provides them comfort and protection – ‘that someone is constantly looking out for them.’ Believe it or not, employees want an authoritative figure with whom they can share their concerns; this provides a sense of belonging. What would follow if they had no one to address their concerns or defend them from workplace harassment? Employees sometimes find it difficult to contact someone in management to obtain answers or assistance. They may get aggressive, detached, or permanently abandon such a workplace in such instances! 

They must realize that there is always someone there to assist or guide them and that assistance is only a phone call away whenever the need arises! This sensation alone instills them with confidence and a feeling of security. This also contributes to the employees’ sense of belonging. The concerns I have addressed in this section may be expressed individually or collaboratively by a team. In any event, Human Resources should constantly listen to their issues and address them. Staying available to workers is among the most critical tasks that management or human resources should perform – after all, an organization’s success depends on the team’s well-being! 

Give them adequate space. 

Every person, regardless of the work, desires a measure of autonomy. You must guarantee they don’t feel constrained. The organization’s guidelines must be unambiguous and provide a non-biased and open work environment. 

Consider the following scenario. Your firm’s sales team consists of five male workers and one female recruit. You must guarantee that equal opportunity, objective performance appraisal, and workplace safety are implemented. Additionally, all team members and supervisors must adhere to the same approach to provide adequate space for the recruit. 

This enables the new female hire to achieve her full potential and boost the company’s sales results. Additionally, when team members feel accepted, secure, and see opportunities for progress, they develop a stronger sense of ‘belonging to the business.’ 

Occasionally, employees experience discomfort as a result of their religious beliefs. Human resources must guarantee that such person has the freedom to exercise their religious views. To the degree that it does not jeopardize the corporate structure or aims, the company can also be tolerant of workers’ religious practices. No employee should face discrimination based on their religious beliefs. 
Discrimination or limitation based on gender, religion, color, or any other factor is not permitted in the workplace. Everybody loves to work in environments that allow them to be themselves and provide unrestricted growth opportunities wants to work in an environment where their gender, religion, or color is looked upon. As human resource personnel, these concerns must be addressed from the start. 

Employees must not be forced to alter their ideas; this would be detrimental to the organization’s growth. On the contrary, such workplaces will always have unprotected staff that will not perform to their full capacity. This would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the organization’s growth, development, and success. 

Additionally, the firm or human resources must practice sharing their employees’ delight and being helpful at times of difficulty. For example, celebratory events such as marriage or childbirth might be commemorated inside the corporation; this demonstrates that the business is prepared to share in its joyous moments. Similarly, the employer should help the employee during illness or any other unpleasant occurrence, such as the death of a loved one. These are the moments that shape the employer-employee relationship. The organization’s positive response to similar events would eventually result in a long-term relationship. 

It is more productive and beneficial to foster a friendly and pleasant work atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome. 

Employee Appreciation

Every worker wants to be acknowledged and commended for a good performance. A company’s management must learn how to appreciate the worker’s efforts and contributions. I have highlighted three forms of appreciation that can be given to an employee: 

1. Promotional Package: 

This method has been used from time immemorial, it is not particular to the work environment but in every form of endeavor of human involvement. For example, when a person performed diligently well in a position and kept doing so consistently over the years, it is only right to elevate such an individual to a higher function responsibility. Providing people with increased authority is among the most effective ways to make them feel valued. When team member is valued through a promotion, they develop a greater appreciation for the company, and their loyalty to the business also rises. They have a greater sense of ‘commitment to the company and remain loyal and devoted. 

This act of appreciation goes beyond individual preference. Other colleagues would be driven by that gesture of the management to make better input or increase their devotion to receive comparable rewards. Considering the entire picture, it becomes a win-win situation for the company. By rewarding someone, you indirectly encourage others. 

2. Verbal Appreciation:  

Verbal motivation encourages workers by emphasizing their value to the team. This boosts their morale and motivates them to work more. This would eventually result in improved performance. Human resources and senior management must not be afraid to take this action since it may have long-lasting consequences. Consider an employee who achieves the highest sales volume in a given year. If the organization fails to attribute its achievement to the employee’s work, the individual will feel unimportant and be discouraged from making such efforts. It is critical to mention and acknowledge their efforts vocally. Bear in mind that any sort of verbal incentive will increase your team’s commitment and productivity. 

3.  Appreciation Through Monetary Gift: 


Financial awards are critical in appreciating your staff’s selfless efforts that contributed to the organization’s development and success. These financial incentives might include bonus payments, free vacation, shopping discounts, or a salary increase. There is nothing wrong with paying your staff for their efforts. Rather than that, it would only increase their commitment and appreciation for the organization.
 
Involving in decision-making 

Sometimes, employees have far more to give but cannot do so due to a lack of opportunity. Occasionally, these recommendations prove to be far more beneficial. However, it is critical to remember that transparency in the decision-making mechanism is critical. The more engaged they feel, the more positive their self-esteem becomes. 

All of these are part of the process of enhancing their ‘sense of belonging.’ This impact has several advantages: when workers have the freedom to express their opinions and believe they can help, their workplace relationships improve; it strengthens the organization’s feeling of cooperation; the firm will also benefit from their abundance of information, competence, abilities, and limitations as a manager or leader. In this manner, you may capitalize on the employee’s critical ideas and skills while addressing their deficiencies through training and seminars. When workers believe they are an integral part of the business, their confidence grows, becoming more devoted and productive.   

Exercises for team building 

Team-building activities help the staff to know one another. Hence, it makes people feel more at ease and relaxed, which results in increased engagement and productivity. You provide them the opportunity to assess their own strengths and flaws. 

When such events are conducted on-site, employees will feel more at ease. As a leader, you also have the chance to assess the competitiveness and strengths of your team. You learn about the impact of competition on employees and how they respond to a motivation to win.
 
However, how should team-building exercises be designed? The solution depends on the activity’s objective, apart from instilling a sense of belonging in participants, team-building activities aid in achieving several other objectives. 

There is always power in our diversity; you may leverage employee differences/variety to the organization’s advantage as a leader. Their disparate capabilities, ideas, and abilities might work in their favor. 

You can train your staff on how to collaborate on projects. Team building exercises are an excellent way to unite people and assist them in working toward a common objective. 

Caution: Team building exercises should promote collaboration and harmony throughout the team rather than foster rivalry or demoralize any group. Your practices, including activities and games, must be designed so everyone feels included and joyful. You would not want this practice to have the opposite effect. 

Inspiring them to flourish and enabling them  

Everyone wishes to advance professionally. However, the chance for advancement inside the business is crucial in determining employee loyalty. When an individual has sufficient scope and prospects for advancement, their dedication to work also grows. 

Additionally, the prospect of expansion inspires individuals to exert more significant effort, resulting in increased production. Finally, they defend their position by demonstrating their abilities. Ultimately, the workforce’s actions affect the company’s growth. 

The Human Resources department is responsible for informing everyone about the company’s chances for growth and advancement. They develop a sense of belonging at work when their outstanding efforts are recognized through growth prospects. 

The organization’s executives and human resources department must ensure that its valued workers have opportunities for advancement. Therefore, it is critical to assist employees in achieving their targeted levels of growth. This gradually creates a sense of belonging in their employment – similar to a second home. 
  
What does this entail for the corporation as a whole? 
It is critical for a business to develop an environment that fosters a sense of belonging among its employees. To maximize employee potential, it is essential to make them feel supported, confident, accessible, and secure and demonstrate career advancement possibilities. 

Such tactics ultimately benefit the organization. For example, a business with loyal, committed, hardworking, and happy employees will always flourish. 

The primary benefit of creating a peaceful and cheerful work environment where workers feel included is strengthening the employer-employee connection. It’s critical to remember that this doesn’t occur overnight and requires sustained work on both sides. Negligence on either side can result in an unsatisfactory short-term relationship. 

While it is necessary to set a clear boundary between workers and employers, it is critical to remember that mutual understanding and respect are the bedrock of the partnership. 

Another benefit of a happier staff is that it reduces conflict. This is good for both the employees and the employer. Increased rewards and opportunities for advancement keep people happy, while increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability keep the business running smoothly. 

The primary benefit of such workplaces is the employee’s loyalty. Because a devoted staff maintains a long-term connection, stability is created. Consider the time, programs, and investment needed to recruit only staff who depart frequently. 

Modern companies must foster a welcoming culture for employees to have a ‘sense of belonging’ at work.’
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