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Fostering a Sense of Belonging for Latinos in the Workplace: The Role of Organizations and Employee Resource Groups

Group of Hispanic/Latin American professionals smiling in the office.

“The culture of a workplace - an organization's values, norms, and practices - has a huge impact on our happiness and success.”

- Adam Grant

Belonging in the workplace implies more than being part of a team. It means representation and a feeling of acceptance for an employee and what they contribute to the organization. Successful organizations create a workplace where people feel seen and heard, resulting in employee engagement and productivity. This sense of belonging is especially important for Hispanic/Latino (H/L) employees who face challenges due to language barriers, cultural differences, and stereotypes.

Cultivating Inclusion from the Top Down

A study by Andrea Carter, Belonging: The Next Metric for Corporate Governance, emphasizes the importance of belonging in the workplace. According to Carter's research, a lack of this can result in employee disengagement, decreased productivity, and increased turnover rates.

Suggestion(s) for Employers: Look to develop and support diversity and inclusion training programs, ensure equal opportunity for advancement, recognize and celebrate cultural differences, and value bilingual language abilities.

Employee Resource Groups as a Tool

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can also be a powerful tool that brings employees together to support one another based on shared characteristics or experiences, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation. They give employees the space to help and acknowledge each other, promote inclusivity, and contribute to organizational policies and practices.

Suggestion(s) for Employers: Look to gain insights from these groups so they can better support employees.

A Win-Win Situation

Creating an inclusive workplace is only one aspect of fostering a sense of belonging; it also impacts an organization's performance and growth.

  • As engagement levels rise, productivity often increases. Employees are more invested when they see their identity, culture, and contributions as integral to the organization.
  • As employees choose to stay within an organization that respects and values their unique contributions, the costs to recruit, hire, train, and replace the loss of institutional knowledge are considerably minimized, leading to lower turnover and attrition rates.
  • Employees can turn into powerful brand ambassadors who speak favorably about their workplace within their personal networks and on public platforms, enhancing organizational reputation, attracting potential customers and top talent, and ultimately driving business growth.

Essentially, belonging is not just beneficial for employees—it also has a significant role in the success of organizations and their ability to compete.

Do your part by joining an ERG or by making a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility with your team. Lead by example and uplift others by showing your commitment to helping create a more inclusive environment, for all.

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