A diverse team participates in a belonging exercise

What is Workplace Belonging and Why is it Important?

Articles Feb 14, 2024

Belonging isn’t hard to understand. Most of us have felt that connection with friends or family. We’ve all experienced a sense of comfort and safety when we’re in a familiar place, surrounded by those we love and trust.  Belonging is a powerful human need, and without it our mental and physical well-being suffers.

The same is true in the workplace. When employees show up to work confident and secure, they are able to contribute their best work. When individuals are afraid to voice their opinions or be themselves, they are less engaged and less productive.

“Belonging means being valued,” says Rebecca Mede, Manager of Culture, Inclusion, and Belonging at Sydney Water. “Belonging means that people can speak up, that people can exchange ideas, that people can feel that they can be themselves and be comfortable in their own skin.”

Belonging and employee engagement are key results of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. Even though some leaders might be reluctant to talk about DEI, the proven outcomes will ensure that DEI will be a priority, no matter its label. All business leaders can agree that they want their employees to feel comfortable and productive at work. 

Organizations thrive when belonging is fostered and suffer when it’s absent. According to Great Place To Work, belonging in the workplace is “an employee’s sense that their uniqueness is accepted and even treasured by their organization and colleagues. [It] is an accumulation of day-to-day experiences that enables a person to feel safe and bring their full, unique self to work.”

Belonging is Important to Business


Kaela Sosa

Kaela (she/her) is a Certified Diversity Executive and curriculum and programming manager at The Diversity Movement. She applies her writing, project management, and production skills to advance DEI.