Behavioral Interview Guide: Inclusivity and Belonging
At its core, an inclusive environment is a place where everyone's ideas, thoughts, and perspectives matter. In a team setting, people are unafraid to show their personalities, talents, and aspirations, while at the same time feel secure enough to show doubts, insecurities, or worries. This type of environment encourages employees to bring their "whole" self to work and reflects a place where employees can express their opinions openly and honestly.
An inclusive environment requires a collective effort by all members of the team or organization. Although leaders and managers must set the right examples, employees should also ensure they are promoting an inclusive workplace.
The behaviors below are simple ways employees can help promote inclusivity:
- Broaden your understanding of unconscious biases.
- Actively listen to what your colleagues have to say.
- Amplify the voices of others.
Another positive outcome of inclusivity is a sense of belonging.
This is a general feeling of being genuinely valued, accepted, and connected with your team or organization. This impacts how an employee shows up and feels comfortable being themselves—and how they contribute to an organizations' common goals. Feeling like you belong at work can have overarching impacts when it comes to retention, productivity, and employer branding.
Creating a sense of belonging requires three mutually reinforcing attributes:
- Comfort: Individuals feel comfortable at work, including being treated fairly and respected by their colleagues and leaders. "I am valued for who I am, my background and beliefs. I can bring my authentic self to work."
- Connection: Individuals feel that they have meaningful relationships with coworkers and teams and are connected to the organization's goals. "I am a part of something larger than myself. I provide support and am supported by my workplace community."
- Contribution: Individuals feel that they contribute to meaningful outcomes and understand how their strengths help to achieve common goals. "I (we) add value by bringing unique skills and strengths to meaningfully contribute to shared purpose and goals."
An ideal outcome of this work is a well thought out and carefully implemented set of values that will serve as a basis for a high performing team and help promote inclusivity and belonging.