Feeling like you’re part of a team can be motivating and validating. Belonging is an important factor in workplace well-being. Everyone wants to be seen and heard.
But sometimes, uncomfortable conversations, invalidations, and difficult behaviours can make you wish things were different. Feeling uncomfortable, or even unsafe at work, is no fun, but more importantly, it’s not right. A question you might ask yourself is: does the company know what’s going on?
“Culture in a company is how people behave when you’re not looking”
Ben Horowitz, What You Do Is Who You Are
The small things matter...
Most companies aspire to have a great culture. But under the surface, unhelpful cultural norms often get in the way of us feeling like we belong. Small everyday interactions that make us uncomfortable at work are rarely discussed or tackled until they become more serious. As these accumulate, they can make us disengage without necessarily knowing why.
Sometimes processing what has happened to make you feel disengaged takes time. Bullying, harassment, and discrimination can often manifest themselves in different forms, such as: the spreading of rumours, denying someone access to training or promotion opportunities, picking on or regularly undermining someone. These are classified as forms of unlawful discrimination if connected to the following:
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and maternity
Religion or belief
Sometimes problematic behaviours are less obvious, and may not even be intentional. It may seem like there’s a lot of grey area, but how you feel is critical to understand. The impact felt by you is just as important as the intent behind a behaviour when determining whether something is problematic in your workplace.
At Aequip, we recognise that the small things matter, and that context is the key to understanding how they affect you. We’re committed to representing your voice while keeping you safe. If you feel as though you’re experiencing or witnessing any of these forms of discomfort in your workplace, and want things to improve, your company might want to use our anonymous digital platform.
X and Why, People's Mission Hall, 20-30 Whitechapel Rd., London E1 1EW