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Why a Culture of Belonging and Inclusion in the Workplace is Important

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Inclusion and belonging are two of the most important values a business can uphold. They create a sense of community and connection among employees, customers, and partners. And they send a clear message that everyone is welcome and valued.

But despite the importance of inclusion and belonging, too many businesses still struggle with how to make them a reality. This is especially true for LGBTQIA+ people. They continue to face discrimination and exclusion across the globe.

This must change. And it’ll mean more than just adding a rainbow flag to your website or throwing a company-sponsored Pride party. Real inclusion and belonging require a strategic commitment from businesses of all sizes.

Here are five reasons why inclusion and belonging must be a strategic priority for businesses:

1. It’s the right thing to do

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Discrimination of any kind is wrong.

And that includes discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people. Businesses not only have a responsibility to their employees, customers, and partners to create inclusive environments, but they also have a responsibility to society as a whole.

When your team enters the office daily, they should feel like they can be their true selves without fear of judgment or mistreatment. In short, they should feel like they belong.

2. It makes good business sense

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Inclusion and belonging are good for business.

Your team will be more productive when they feel like they have a safe and supportive environment to work in. They’ll also be more likely to stay with your company for the long term, which saves you time and money on recruiting and training costs.

A study by McKinsey found that companies with more diverse and inclusive teams are also more profitable.

Diverse teams bring different perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to better decision-making and creativity, which will, in turn, push your business forward.

3. It attracts top talent

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The best and brightest employees want to work for companies that value inclusion and belonging. And implement these values across all aspects of their business, from how they treat their employees to the products and services they offer.

Just look at the latest data from Glassdoor. 76% of job seekers consider a company’s diversity when making job decisions. This means that most of your potential talent pool is looking for an inclusive workplace. And if you’re not offering it, they’ll take their skills elsewhere.

4. It builds trust with your customers

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Customers want to do business with companies that share their values.

In fact, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to social and environmental issues.

They’re also more likely to be loyal to brands that foster a sense of belonging. Because for them, it’s not just about the product or service; it’s about the company behind it. After all, today’s customers want their money to support their values.

5. It creates a more sustainable future

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The world is changing, and businesses need to change with it. It’s not enough to be profitable anymore; businesses must also be sustainable. And a big part of that is ensuring that everyone, including LGBTQIA+ people, feels like they belong.

After all, when businesses commit to inclusion and belonging, they’re not only creating a better present for their employees, customers, and partners; they’re also laying the foundation for a better future.

6. It’s the start of something bigger

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Inclusion and belonging are not just tied to the office. They’re also tied to the world at large. Right now, the world is at a tipping point. We’re starting to see more and more countries legalize same-sex marriage, pass anti-discrimination laws, and recognize transgender rights.

But we still have a long way to go. Businesses that make inclusion and belonging a priority can help lead the way toward a more equal future.

As a leader, you have the power to create change, and when you commit to inclusion, you are creating a ripple effect that can have a lasting impact on society as a whole.

7. It’s time

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Gen Z is the most diverse and inclusive generation yet. And they’re quickly taking over the workforce. And in just a few years, they will make up the majority of employees.

1 in 5 adult members of Gen Z self-identify as LGBTQ. So, it’s no surprise that they’re pushing businesses to do better when it comes to inclusion and belonging. They want to know that when they enter the workforce, they’ll be working for companies that see them for who they are and value their contributions.

This is why you need to start making inclusion and belonging a priority now. The next generation of employees is counting on you.

There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why inclusion and belonging must be a strategic priority for businesses in 2023 and beyond.

The world is changing, and businesses need to change with it. So, when you sit down to create your business goals for the year, make sure that inclusion is at the top of your list. Because when you commit to creating a workplace of belonging, you’re not only creating a better workplace; you’re also helping to build a better future.

Do you want to learn more about how to create an inclusive workplace? Check out these three blog posts on the subject:

And if you’re ready to take your commitment to inclusion and belonging to the next level, contact us today. We can help you create an action plan that will make a real difference for your business and your employees.

Dr. Colleen Batchelder
As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.