The importance of belonging in DEI

Do you feel like you truly ‘belong’ in your workplace?

Diversity, equality and inclusion efforts have traditionally focused on the core aspects of DEI. But companies are looking to ensure that employees feel valued, celebrated and have a sense of belonging.

In the latest episode of HerSuccess podcast, host Chris Atiyah interviewed Jyl Feliciano, the Global VP of DEIB at Highspot. Jyl spoke to Chris about her career journey and why belonging is at the heart of DEI.

What is belonging?

Belonging is about employees feeling able to bring their whole and true selves to work. It is about feeling accepted, appreciated, and celebrated for who you are.

How to support belonging at work

At Highspot, Jyl has prioritized belonging within DEI&B through the launch of employee communities, resource groups and a belonging council. This has allowed employees to vocalize what they need to feel like they belong.

Alongside employee groups, a series of roadshows showcased staff stories. These helped to drive awareness and supported staff to share their experiences and authentic selves in the workplace. For Jyl, it’s important to see staff being able to share their lives and identities with their colleagues.

She believes that seeing themselves represented has encouraged staff to get involved.

‘At the end of the day, we all have a common goal and that’s all we want – a sense of belonging.’

Jyl talked about the importance of sharing these stories in ensuring that DEI&B is not just a program, but ingrained in an organization.

Jyl said ‘By having those human connections, you start to discover that DEI is not a program. Like programmatic pieces help you push DEI into the workforce.

'DEI is not a program, DEI is the how, is how you feel when you show up, is how we talk to one another is how we support. It's about how we allyship. It's about how we make sure we have the right tools to be successful.’

Why is belonging important for my business?

Ensuring that employees feel like they belong is important for business who want to retain staff and build an inclusive culture.

Harvard Business Review claim that more than 40% of Americans report feeling physically and emotionally isolated in the workplace. This can lead to disengagement, low productivity and high staff turnover.

However, Deloitte found that companies with higher levels of belonging can see:

  • 56% increase in performance
  • 75% decrease in sick days
  • 50% reduction in turnover

Tune in now to hear Jyl’s interview and check out more episodes of HerSuccess.

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