In his article, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn emphasizes the importance of a sense of belonging in the workplace. According to him, it is a fundamental human need and goes beyond just “fitting in” or assimilating oneself to satisfy the expectations of others. Authentic connections to colleagues and supervisors, grounded in one’s truth, and feeling supported in one’s daily work can lead to optimal performance and well-being.
Dr. Strayhorn defines workplace belonging as the emotional connection that employees feel towards their company. An inclusive and welcoming work culture that fosters teamwork and collaboration, as well as celebrates individual successes, is vital for all employees to feel appreciated, respected, and supported.
To create conditions for workplace belonging, Dr. Strayhorn suggests prioritizing it as a key performance indicator, encouraging collaboration, involving everyone in the conversation, and celebrating accomplishments. Furthermore, he underscores the many benefits of workplace belonging, including positive relationships, work/life balance, high productivity, job satisfaction, and increased profitability.
Dr. Strayhorn is a Professor of Higher Education and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Illinois State University, a Visiting Scholar and Director of the Center for the Study of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) at Virginia Union University, and the CEO and Founder of Do Good Work Consulting Group. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, HubPages, and more.