Hear from entrepeneur and director Dr Anita Sands.
Dr Anita Sands is an entrepeneur, thought leader and board director who has worked in organisations across the globe. Dr Sands has a passion for growing the performance of organisations through helping them untap the potential of their people. Her personal philosophy on creating a culture of belonging is interesting, especially in the context of these disrupted times. Dr Anita Sands shares her insights on creating a culture of belonging in the latest Speaker Series event.
The Great Resignation versus the Great Reassessment.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused people to reflect on the how we live and work. We’re all asking whether we want to be making long commutes, dedicating massive hours and compromising our own values for a pay cheque. It’s not so much a Great Resignation, but a Great Reassessment. How we treat and generate a culture of belonging delivers to what people are looking for in jobs. It also helps to shape the retention of our talent.
There’s a difference between inclusion and belonging. Belonging means that you don’t have to fold to fit into a mould and you can bring your full authentic self. Anita describes it as not just a case of “I am who I am” but also having the self-awareness to “be yourself comma skillfully." In the workplace you need to choose appropriate behaviours that the specific situation needs.
Co-creating belonging as an individual.
Belonging isn’t a top-down order. The individual has the power to create the trust and acceptance of the people around them.
Be vulnerable – lead with your own experiences to create trust in the people around you. Share your stories, share who you are outside of the job, and get to know colleagues as people, from there you can build.
Be honest about mistakes – own and accept the occassions when things aren’t right. By doing so, you grow trust around you which encourages openness. This is especially important for those who lead.
Make people feel valued – ask people how they are, and dig into what they are really feeling and experiencing. Hear their experiences and work to help them resolve any issues.
Belonging has different levels.
Belonging is at the heart of performance, striving to achieve in something you collectively believe in. It’s more than a warm fuzzy HR term.
Cultural belonging comes from developing acceptance and trust amongst the people in your team.
At a team level you understand and believe in the core objectives and values of the organisation you work in. This is where real results start to happen.
Belonging breaks new ground.
Diversity is critical to remaining competitive and understanding perspectives, but equally when bringing in opportunities. Anita describes belonging as "the gateway through which innovation should pass." It unleashes people and their full potential. New grounds can break with new opportunities when there is no fear of failure or challenging conventions and structures that exist.