• |
  • Blog
  • |
  • Inclusion and Belonging at Work

August 16, 2023

Inclusion and Belonging at Work

We all have an inherent need to belong, and that means something different for each one of us. In the workplace, its important that individuals feel like a valued member of a team. We can do our part to reduce harmful feelings of isolation and instead built trusted relationships. Checking in with our colleagues, using ubuntu-based empathy skills and active listening, aids in collaboration and better understanding each other.

The Ubuntuworks Resource Hub provides organizations and individuals with data, stories, studies and support for a more connected and compassionate world.

“The Surprising Power of Simply Asking Coworkers How They’re Doing”
Author: Karyn Twaronite
February 28, 2019
From Harvard Business Review


“A recent EY survey found that more than 40% of U.S. respondents reported feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. People want more connection with those they work with. survey points to one simple solution: establish more opportunities for colleagues to check in with one another. 39% of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally. 

We humans have an innate need to belong — to one another, to our friends and families, and to our culture and country. The same is true when we’re at work. When people feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their fullest potential, according to our research at the Center for Talent Innovation

…many individuals spend most of their time at work, and creating workplace communities where people feel like they belong is imperative….So how can companies connect more effectively with employees and help them feel like they belong within their workplace community?”

The art of the check-in

Seize the small opportunities to connect: Try to establish connections with your colleagues that communicate that you value, understand, and care about them. Be present, curious, and seize small daily opportunities to connect authentically. For example, a simple “How are you doing? How can I support you?” could go a long way in nearly every setting.

Check bias at the door: Check-ins are a time to listen to another person’s perspectives, not to debate or persuade. If someone shares something that you don’t understand or agree with, you might consider acknowledging their point of view or asking them to tell you more. You may be pleasantly surprised by their response. For instance, “Tell me more about it,” or “I never thought about it from that perspective, but I do realize we can experience the same situation in different ways, so I appreciate you explaining that for me.”

Assume positive intent: Start any conversation with your colleagues believing that those talking or listening mean well, especially when it comes to difficult issues. Sometimes you might fumble through these topics, but assuming positive intent will help you pause, ask clarifying questions, and connect in a more meaningful way. Sometimes, these pauses make a huge difference. It is fine to say, “I am pausing because I just don’t know what to say,” or “I am pausing because I want to learn more from you...”

To read about more ways to check-in with colleagues, visit https://hbr.org/2019/02/the-surprising-power-of-simply-asking-coworkers-how-theyre-doing

Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat

Related Posts

Active Listening Skills Refresh – Podcast

Active Listening Skills Refresh – Podcast

Purpose and Community at Work

Purpose and Community at Work

Be inspired.

Stay up-to-date on new ubuntu connections around the world.
Inspiring stories that make us part of real systemic change.

Listen Deeply. Respect Others. Find Common Ground.