Building a Culture of Belonging

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team


September 22, 2021

The Building Culture Podcast - Episode 3.3

Mercedes Ballard & Kristin Bonds, "Building a Culture of Belonging"

Belonging is top of mind for organizations everywhere. We invite Mercedes Ballard and Kristin Bonds, co-founders of Heristic, to this episode of Building Culture to share how to define belonging, practice it at work, and distinguish how it’s different from inclusion.

You can download the episode here.

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Show notes:
  • What is the PERKS Culture Index and what can we achieve with it?

  • When did we first start hearing about “belonging” in the workplace?
    • Psychologists say our need to belong is on the same level as our need to feel loved (HBR)
  • How would you define a culture of belonging? What does a culture of belonging include?

  • Defining the human component of culture: It encompasses the daily norms, values, behaviors, and communication within a workplace. It’s the day-to-day interactions and interpersonal relationships that develop from the way people communicate in an organization. Essentially, it’s the way that information is delivered to set a team member up for success in achieving their goals.
    • How does the human component of culture play into belonging within an organization?
  • What belonging looks like in the workplace:
    • Empathy, kindness
    • Respect/continuous feedback loop
    • Relating to a shared purpose:
      • Finding meaning in the work and individual contributions
        • Diversity of thought but committing to shared outcomes (Deloitte)

  • What is the overlap or difference between inclusion and belonging?

  • What are some deterrents/obstacles that can obstruct from building a culture of belonging?

  • How does belonging translate into policy and practice?

  • With Heristic, PERKS has been working on redefining 5 key measures that will help foster the new KPIs for the workplace of the future.
    • What is the role of each measure in regards to belonging?
      • Leadership & admin
      • Communication
      • Performance & productivity
      • DEI
      • People Experience
  • What action can every individual take today to foster a culture of belonging/kindness?

  • We are uniquely poised to make the kinds of changes in the workplace - where we spend most of our hours - we wish to see in our society.