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  • Writer's pictureKayla Morse Higgs

Crafting Spaces of Belonging: A Practical Guide

Updated: Jun 24

Belonging — the often overlooked letter in DEI Strategy. It's a fundamental aspect of organizational culture, yet it's all too often undermined by entrenched norms and values. As leaders, it's our responsibility to challenge the status quo and create environments where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive. In our quest to foster belonging, we must be willing to abandon the "company way" if it's not conducive to creating a culture of inclusivity. This means questioning established practices and traditions, and measuring our impact rather than our intentions. Belonging isn't achieved through token gestures or surface-level initiatives; it requires a deep-seated commitment to change. Think about it: How often do we hear statements like, "That's just the way things are done here"? But what if the "way things are done" is hindering our ability to create a sense of belonging? It's time to shift our focus from preserving tradition to prioritizing inclusivity.


Belonging is about more than just feeling comfortable at work; it's about feeling valued, respected, and heard. It's about knowing that your contributions matter and that you have a voice in shaping the future of the organization.

So, how do we create spaces of belonging? It starts with asking the right questions and listening to the answers. It means being willing to challenge the status quo and embrace change. And it requires a commitment to measuring our impact on the lives of our employees, rather than simply intending well.


As we embark on this journey, let's keep one powerful mantra in mind: Measure your sense of belonging on impact, not intention. Because ultimately, it's the impact we have on others that truly matters.


Now, let's delve into four key areas to attend to when assessing belonging in your teams and organizations:


Self-Efficacy:

  • Does this organization bring out the best in me?

  • Do I see opportunities for growth and development here?

  • Are pathways for continued growth and development clear?


Engagement:

  • Are objectives and expectations clear?

  • Am I consistently provided with the necessary resources and information to excel in my role?

  • Do I feel supported by at least one colleague?


Psychological Safety:

  • I feel comfortable giving feedback to my manager?

  • Can I approach my manager with problems and trust they will listen?

  • Are tough issues addressed openly within the team?


Values Alignment:

  • Do the organization's values resonate with my own?

  • Can I envision myself remaining with this company in the future?

  • Does the organization's mission inspire me to do my best work?


Ready to take action and create a workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging? Sign up for a FREE Consultation Call to get started with a Belonging Audit. Let's cultivate environments where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.

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