Have you ever heard the saying: “Culture eats strategy for lunch”? What about: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you made them feel”?
We like and support both ideas – because they encapsulate one key workplace tenet: inclusion. Inclusion in the workplace is critical because it fulfills our most important need as human beings: wanting to feel connected, feeling a sense of belonging and believing that our voice matters.
Tim Clark, author of The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety, say this about inclusion safety: “Inclusion safety satisfies the basic human need to connect and belong. Whether at work, school, home or in other social settings, everyone wants to be accepted.” With many of us back in the office post-COVID, we believe that having an innate sense of belonging, of inclusion, in the workplace results in leaders seeing improved productivity, increased employee retention and stronger organizational success.
For Athena, we believe that inclusion safety in the workplace begins with amplifying your vision of your success. To accomplish this, we might recommend a series of conversations and discussions focused on workplace inclusion, cultural competence, team building, relevant language, overcoming unconscious bias and leading with empathy. We know that building and maintaining a culture and strategy of inclusion safety requires levels of empathy, personal engagement with your own biases, time for reflection and a sincere desire to work for real change.
Clark also states, “When you have inclusion safety, you develop a sense of shared identity and a conviction that you matter. You interact with others without fear of rejection, embarrassment or punishment, boosting your confidence, resilience and independence.”
What are your thoughts on inclusion safety? How have you ensured that your team feels connected and a sense of belonging?