How to Make People on Your Team Feel Like They Belong

We’re genetically wired to belong; it’s how we survive and thrive in life — and at work. This is especially important for new team members who often don’t feel included in the workplace. Fostering a sense of belonging helps reduce stress levels, and consequently improves physical health, emotional well-being, and performance. Here are a few ways you can create a culture where everyone feels they belong:

Make introductions – Don’t introduce people just by their title. Add information that is unique to the individual and show that you appreciate them. Use language like: “This is Sara — she is part of our research team.” The word “our” really adds the feeling of being on a team.

Solicit Input – Don’t expect everyone to show up and speak up. Invite people who you want to include, ask their opinion, and follow up with questions so they truly felt heard.

Share Stories – Stories show that you, as the storyteller, care enough about your team members to show your own vulnerability and share your mistakes and successes. They also help people connect emotionally.