Inclusion is about all of us. It’s about feeling valued and respected, and fostering an environment that makes others feel safe. It’s about walking into your workplace and truly feeling like you belong there.
This Accenture training video for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is powerful in its honesty and simplicity. The real-world examples of people feeling as though they “can’t bring their whole selves” to work is something that all of us can relate to. Acceptance and a sense of belonging are not just things we’d like to have, but are necessary for us to thrive as individuals.
This psychological need to be included is so necessary that psychologist Abraham Maslow included it in his famous 1943 article, “ A Theory of Human Motivation”. More commonly known as the hierarchy of needs, Maslow argued that each hierarchical level (most often depicted as a pyramid) must be satisfied before a person can pursue the higher-level needs, like self-esteem and confidence.
Translation? If our need to feel included is not met, we will lack the motivation to feel, do, and be our best. If as leaders we fail to cultivate inclusive work environments, collaboration, innovation, and the overall morale of our teams will fail as well. Not sure where to start? We at Bright Places would love to help you create a thriving workplace where your team feels valued, necessary, and included.
However, you don’t need to be in a position of leadership to impact your workplace. As this video reiterates, inclusion is about all of us. Seek out opportunities to validate and encourage your co-workers. Take the time to listen and invest in relationships with those around you. In doing so you will not only help others feel that sense of belonging, but will also be fostering it in yourself.
LaVada English is the CEO and Founder of Bright Places, Inc.. She holds an MBA in Human Resource Management and is a certified Intercultural development coach. In addition, LaVada holds several leadership and strategic people management certifications. The vision for better psychologically healthy work environments has driven LaVada to educate leaders and teams for over two decades.