Tech & Innovation Blog

Life @ ADP EP4: Support from Military Experience to Corporate Life


Life @ ADP, Career Advice, What We Do 

Life @ ADP Podcast - Episode four

An inspiring episode for those who are interested in learning effective communication.

Life @ ADP EP4: Support from Military Experience to Corporate Life 

Ever thought about what it’s like to be on active duty and work in the corporate world? What are the company’s support systems? What is the common ground between the military and business? Meet Michelle N., Global Business Consultant and an active Staff Sergeant in the National Guard. 

In honor of Veteran’s Day in the United States, our podcast hosts, Kate and Ingrid, invited Michelle to share her story with us on the show. In Life @ ADP episode four, you’ll hear Michelle’s journey transitions from the military to corporate life and how skills from the military help her succeed in business. She sends powerful messages and talks about the required skillsets in her two roles.  

Michelle shares how she mentors other veterans and finds a supportive culture at ADP. “The way you interact with your peers and senior leadership is crucial to success. The mindset doesn’t apply only in the military or in the workplace, but also your relationships,” Michelle says. “The greatest skill most veterans possess is the ability to perform under pressure. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a leadership role to have leadership qualities.”  

It is an inspiring, encouraging episode for those who are interested in learning effective communication. Michelle gives advice for active-duty members and people transitioning from active duty. She also shares with us the common qualities in military service and the corporate world. “My organization skills, time management, and ability to plan are essential in both roles,” Michelle says. “Every military occupation is translatable to the civilian world.” 

In the second half of Michelle’s interview, she discusses her involvement with ADP’s military business resource group (BRG). “Before COVID-19 and deploying, we were heavily engaged with veterans’ shelters. Although outside the BRG space, I was on the panel to answer questions for others who were transitioning,” she says. “I’m always looking for opportunities to give back and be a contributing source.”  

Michelle, thank you for your service. We are grateful to have you!  

Life @ ADP is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music. Stay tuned! Support us by subscribing to both the podcast and the tech blog.  

What are you waiting for?   

Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Life @ ADP EP 3: Tips for Interviewing, How to Make Lasting Impressions, and Helpful Hints


Life @ ADP, Career Advice, What We Do 

Life at ADP - Episode Three

Hiring Managers want to better understand how candidates overcome challenges.

Life @ ADP EP 3: Tips for Interviewing, How to Make Lasting Impressions, and Helpful Hints  

How long should your resumé be? How do you make a good impression? What to prepare for a phone interview?   

Life @ ADP, our monthly podcast, answers them in the third episode! In this interview, hosts Kate and Ingrid sit down with Dave Demchik, one of our senior tech recruiters, to discuss what attributes make a top candidate. For those who are interested in a career at ADP, you won’t want to miss it! You will hear Dave discuss helpful tips for interviewing both remotely and in-person and how to make a good impression during and after the interview.   

“Recruiters look for candidates who are knowledgeable in the field they are hiring. Be prepared to answer technical questions and have your tool kits ready,” Dave says. “Hiring Managers want to better understand how candidates overcome challenges.”   

Dave has been recruiting for about five and a half years and shares the qualities he looks for in candidates. He believes researching and preparing are the first step to a successful interview. Candidates are encouraged to speak with ADP associates on LinkedIn to better understand ADP’s culture before entering the discussion or visit tech.adp.com, our tech careers site and tech blog. Another tip to make a lasting impression is attention to detail, including crafting relevant points on résumés. The conversation dives deeper into tailoring, formatting, and fitting résumés to specific jobs.   

The discussion in episode three allows both current associates and future talents to understand what values they bring to ADP, contributing to the community.   

“It’s a great time to be a part of ADP!” Dave supports the cybersecurity team, a global security organization at ADP. He is happy to answer any questions and provides his contact information in the podcast episode.   

Life @ ADP is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music. Coming up next, we are going to interview one of our veterans and talk about transitioning from the military to civilian life. Stay tuned! Don’t forget to subscribe to both the show and the blog. 

What are you waiting for?  

Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings 

 

 

Tech & Innovation Blog

Podcast Launch: Life @ ADP


Life @ ADP, What We Do, Voice of Our People 

Life @ ADP Podcast

Always Designing for People.

Life @ ADP will give you a look into our associates’ stories, our culture, and our company.

Podcast Launch: Life @ ADP

ADP is proud to launch its monthly podcast Life @ ADP, sharing with you our associates’ stories, featured interviews, and working culture. Season One is scheduled to have six episodes with content from technologists, talent acquisition, and industry leaders.

We released Episode One – Life @ ADP on September 22, introducing hosts Kate and Ingrid with their ideas behind launching the podcast. Episode Two celebrates Grace Hopper and Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring Giselle Mota. As the Principal of ADP’s Future of Work, Giselle shares with us her journey to ADP, experience with the company, and impacts on the community.

Our podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Amazon Music. Don’t forget to subscribe to both the show and the blog!

Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Innovating Retirement: How ADP Uses Machine Learning to Plan for the Future 


How We Work, Culture, Team Collaboration

Innovation Retirement Header

At ADP, people don’t have to be a leader by title. If there is an idea, and you can think big and innovate, that’s all you need.

Innovating Retirement: How ADP Uses Machine Learning to Plan for the Future 

As one of the country’s leading HR technology companies, ADP uses its unmatched data in exciting and new ways. We had an opportunity to catch up with two people critical in recognizing the opportunity to innovate and create a machine learning product for Retirement Services.  

Hemlata R., Director of Product Development, oversees the entire product development process. In addition to managing scrum masters, architects, developers, and tech leads, she also heads web development, mobile development, and the machine learning strategy for the entire Retirement Services team.

Sanjay V.R. is the Lead Application Developer and oversees the machine learning practice within Retirement Services.  

We asked them how their small team creates cutting-edge technology to build data-driven solutions for their customers, and here’s what they said: 

First, let’s hear a bit of what brought you to ADP. 

Sanjay in front of the Harry Potter Train

Sanjay V.R.

Sanjay: I started at ADP as an intern while I was attending school in upstate New York. Once I completed my internship, I actually had multiple offers to join other companies. I chose to stay at ADP because getting good opportunities is one of the most challenging obstacles in today’s job market, and at ADP, if you put in the work, getting rewarded is the easiest thing.

Hemlata has been my director for 80% of my career, and I’ve been able to turn to her if I have an idea or if I want to pick up a new role or responsibility. She’s always encouraged me. My senior leaders make sure to recognize me for my hard work. I’ve been promoted three times in my three years at Retirement Services, and that speaks volumes.

Hemlata: I also had several offers when I was looking for a change after my last job. I was attracted to ADP because I’d heard that it was moving toward being more of a technology company that valued innovation—and that its leaders prioritized diversity and inclusion. I’ve seen first-hand that you don’t have to have an impressive title to be a leader here. You can be a leader at any level. You can innovate at any level, and ADP supports and invests on that front. I’m so happy and thrilled that everything I had heard about ADP turned out to be more than true.  

Speaking of innovation, tell us about the Retirement Services product you built. 

Sanjay: People Like You is a new feature based on machine learning algorithms; it helps participants better prepare for their retirement by offering benchmarks on how people similar to them are planning their retirements. For example, we can show you what percentage of your coworkers are contributing to their 401(k)s and how much of their income they’re contributing. Maybe you contribute 5%, and when you see that your peers contribute 8%, you have the confidence to invest more. 

In the retirement industry, advisors usually group people by age or salary and then start giving advice. We wanted to answer the question better and offer advice based on what others in similar socioeconomic situations are actually doing.  

Hemlata: ADP pays one out of six Americans; the amount of data we possess is unparalleled. When I joined the company, we discovered that many of our clients’ employees do not contribute to 401(k)s. Since we work for Retirement Services, we saw this as a problem. People often look at their peers and follow them, so we asked ourselves how our data could help create a solution. 

How did you go about building People Like You? 

Hemlata: We tried to combine the mind and the machine by leveraging our experts’ expertise at ADP and machine learning. 

Sanjay: We have folks at ADP who have over 20 and 30 years of experience in Human Resources and Retirement Services. As much as data is our strength, our people and their expertise are equally valuable. So first, we talked extensively with our internal stakeholders since they already know the ins and outs of the industry intimately. Then we conducted market research to understand people’s motivations and concerns better about retirement investing. 

After that, we went back to our data sets—everything we have from our payroll and retirement resources—and we started looking at this socioeconomic information to see any relevance between multiple parameters. For example, does age or compensation influence your retirement decisions? What if you’re married, single, or have kids? Based on our internal and external research, we were able to identify somewhere around 30 factors that make an impact; we then narrowed those factors based on the extent of their influence on an individual’s decision. Once we started analyzing that data and built models to create the personas, we realized that we had something worth integrating with our existing retirement products. 

When we began this project, it started on a small scale. It was just one other data scientist and me. The two of us created the machine learning part of it, but as we built specific pieces of code for the APIs, we pulled in engineers as we needed them.  

Were there any complications you had to work through? 

Hemlata R's Photo doing yoga

Hemlata R.

Hemlata: The tricky part for me was to make sure that we were compliant with all the security olicies. People trust ADP. It’s our brand. That’s why they come to us for payroll, compliance, workforce management, legal, and security solutions. ADP knows what to do and takes excellent care of its customers, and we take this to heart and always obtain the consent of our clients and employees before we include their data. We’re extremely careful to keep all the data anonymous and not look into any specific client or individual employee data.

Sanjay: Yes, ADP is very sensitive toward privacy laws, so we were very specific about reading only as much data as people were comfortable with. One of the biggest advantages we had was that we partnered with ADP’s DataCloud team. They acted like a data custodian in the project and were responsible for making the data anonymous. They also made it possible to identify an employee—only with their consent—if I needed to access that data to connect specific pieces of information.  

I’m a millennial, and I’m one of those people who always clicks on “Do Not Sell My Info” on websites. So, I’m particular about my data, and I think I always had that in the back of my mind. DataCloud made my job easy in that regard. 

How do you think machine learning will affect your future work? 

Hemlata: We are looking at leveraging this concept of combining the mind and the machine on other aspects of our business, such as compliance processes. As of now, we have used descriptive and prescriptive analytics. Next, we are planning to use predictive analytics to help our clients predict the upcoming required actions. ADP and our clients can solve any predicted problems upfront. We’re always trying to see how we can take our ideas and solutions to the next level.  

Sanjay: This is the beginning of an entirely new way of thinking about improving our clients’ experience. We want to look beyond traditional solutions to ensure our clients and their employees feel empowered by our products. ADP also has a general excitement to identify pain points to be resolved and processes we can enhance using machine learning. 

Speaking of your customers, do you see any results from People Like You? Are more people signing up to contribute to their 401(k)s? 

Hemlata: The results are way better than what we expected. Employee contributions and new enrollments have definitely increased. We also saw this product gain so much attention internally within ADP that several other teams contacted us to see how they could leverage similar solutions within their departments. It’s been fascinating to see the outcomes and the interest from all the other teams.  

Sanjay: It’s funny because a bunch of my peers was like, “Oh, I don’t really need a 401(k). I’m too young for that.” Then, two or three months after we released People Like You, someone remarked during lunch, “Hey, did you know that I just signed up for my 401(k)?” Then others joined in—four people also signed up. It’s just a wonderful experience when you hear people say your solution impacts their lives.  

After we launched, Don Weinstein pinged me on Webex Teams and said what a great job I’d done and that he was looking forward to what I’d build next. It was a total fanboy moment for me.  

Hemlata: This goes to show you what I was saying earlier. At ADP, people don’t have to be a leader by title. If there is an idea, and you can think big and innovate, that’s all you need. Once you have that, you can take it to any level, and people will be so open to talk to you, encourage you, and help support any of these thoughts. It’s really amazing to see that! 

Interested in a tech career at ADP?

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Tech & Innovation Blog

Being your Authentic Self: Out and Proud Technologist @ADP


Culture, Inclusion, Pasadena

Out and Proud @ ADP

Andrew Luria, Senior Director, Major Incident Response located in Pasadena, California, shares his personal journey about what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ in a technology company.

Andrew Luria, Senior Director, Major Incident Response located in Pasadena, California, shares his personal journey about what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ in a technology company and encourages anyone reading this to be open to the idea of being Out and Proud at work. At ADP, we stand behind our belief in bringing your authentic self to work as part of an inclusive culture focused on creating a safe space where everyone can thrive.

Andrew LuriaI wasn’t out when I first started at ADP back in 1995, not just to my coworkers but to anyone. I moved from Arizona to Georgia, not for a job but a fresh start. Living a ‘double life’ during college grew increasingly challenging to the point that hiding my authentic self started to take a toll on my health. After a while at ADP, I made friends with many of my coworkers. As with any friends, conversations steer from work to life outside the office. Before I was out, I had to edit what I told them, which made me feel like I’d never left Arizona. I finally said, “no more,” and decided to trust them and myself, and slowly came out.

I remember the first time I thought, “Wow, I really belong here at ADP.” In 2001, my husband and I hosted a Holiday Wine Tasting party in our home with all my ADP coworkers, who had become true friends. We shared an amazing, fun-filled night.

In 2016, I joined ADP’s Pride Business Resource Group (BRG) as a local Chapter Director for the West and ultimately transitioned into the VP of Chapters. As a member and leader for Pride, I have the opportunity to drive direction and connect with LGBTQ+ and Ally’s in an embracing community.

There are three things I learned personally and professionally on my journey:

First, in my twenty-five years here at ADP, mainly in technology, I can attest that my choice to be open about who I am has made my job easier and strengthened my relationships with my peers, leaders, and the people I lead.

I’ve chosen to be out and proud, regardless of the audience. I speak openly about my life and my husband. Outside of work, I spend all my time with him, so excluding him from the conversation would be like keeping a big part of my life hidden. Being able to speak openly about my life with my coworkers keeps us more connected, and that connection builds better and more genuine relationships. Those relationships have had a lasting, positive effect on my work and productivity.

Second, as a leader, I feel coming to work as my authentic self allows me to lead with a stronger sense of kindness and empathy than before. I can give my team 100%+ of my time and energy, knowing I’m not worried about people finding out I am gay. This authenticity provides the foundation of my health and happiness and makes me a better leader. Allowing me the ability to lead at my fullest potential not only gives the company the best leader I can be but has an immeasurable impact on the people who work for me.

Third, for anyone LGBTQ+ thinking about a career in technology, you are in a unique position to influence the downstream impact of new products and technologies that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Recently, ADP enhanced several of our payroll products to include Self-Identification. The enhancement allows employees using our payroll products to self-identify as LGBTQ+. Just imagine decisions made about products and services without our input! As a technologist, we have a seat at the table.

John Luria with his husband seated in a carWorking in tech at ADP has been an incredible journey for me—one that contributed greatly to my personal success and the fingerprint of DEI at ADP.

I understand this isn’t an easy task for many members of our community. But at ADP, our strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by our CEO, our Executive Committee, and all our senior leaders across the globe have made it possible.

I’ve experienced a lot of support here. I never have to hesitate when speaking about my husband. There’s no need to hide who he is to me. I think ADP’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and respect for people of all backgrounds is one reason I love working at ADP and why I’ve built a long career here.

Tech & Innovation Blog

ADP Recognized on the 2020 Working Mother 100 Best Companies List


Working Mothers, Recognition, Best Companies

Mother types on a laptop computer with child seated next to her

Working Mother magazine recognized ADP for the fourth time as one of the 2020 100 Best Companies for its leading commitment to creating inclusive benefits that support working families. This year’s list applauds companies for supporting families in the face of a changing world of work through programs from gender-neutral parental leave to accessible, affordable childcare.

Working Mother magazine recognized ADP for the fourth time as one of the 2020 100 Best Companies for its leading commitment to creating inclusive benefits that support working families. This year’s list applauds companies for supporting families in the face of a changing world of work through programs from gender-neutral parental leave to accessible, affordable childcare.

“Our 100 Best Companies are the standard of excellence and continue to pave the way with the work they are doing on behalf of working parents and caregivers in the US,” says Subha Barry, president of Working Mother Media. “These companies were well ahead of the curve when it came to supporting their employees during this time of profound change with their family-friendly policies already in place. We celebrate their efforts and applaud them for addressing the needs of this important and ever-growing sector of talent.”

The 2020 Working Mother 100 Best Companies list evaluates companies on key considerations including leave policies, workforce representation, benefits, childcare, advancement programs, flexibility, and more, surveying the availability and usage of these programs, as well as the accountability of the managers who oversee them.

Read the full Press Release.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Stronger Together


Video, Culture, Pandemic

Video: Stronger Together

2020 has been a challenging year, and during challenging times, we are tested the most. At ADP, our associates never wavered in their commitment to our clients, our communities, and one another. We want to share what it means to be #ADPStrong and never to stop spreading hope. Watch our story.

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Hands holding a white walking stick

Disability Inclusion in the Workplace

In this second blog in a series focusing on breaking barriers and influencing social change, we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities and offer ideas for promoting disability inclusion in your organization and in our communities.

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The annual observance was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness and disability inclusion in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and places that are open to the general public to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

You are no doubt familiar with the need to comply with the ADA in all areas of your business, but disability inclusion reaches far beyond compliance with the law. Proactively supporting inclusivity in your organization can have important and meaningful impact for your employees, customers and communities. CEB, now part of Gartner, found that highly diverse and inclusive organizations had a 26% increase in team collaboration and an 18% increase in team commitment. A study by Harvard Business Review showed that companies with higher-than-average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues. So, how can you effectively and respectfully promote disability inclusion in your organization?

These are our clients, prospects, coworkers, and employees. How can your organization think about greater equity and inclusivity, especially during these times?

– Giselle Mota, board member of the ADP BRG, Thrive

Practice inclusivity

Be sure that your staff and leadership includes a diverse a range of employees and perspectives. When developing anything from internal policies to new products to client-facing marketing campaigns, getting input from employees and clients with disabilities helps ensure that you are addressing their needs rather than operating on assumptions. Martha Bird, Chief Business Anthropologist at ADP says, “It is important to design WITH excluded and diverse communities, not FOR them. Seek their expert input in the process.”

Representation is key to meaningful and genuine inclusion. If you have Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Business Resource Groups (BRGs) in your organization, you can partner with them on inclusivity initiatives to get valuable firsthand perspectives. At ADP, the Thrive BRG has a mission to understand the diverse impact of disabilities, end the stigma, and bring awareness and education to ADP associates about people living with disabilities. Susan Lodge, a Thrive board member and mother to a son with a genetic disease says, “This BRG has given me a new appreciation for the company I work for and the people that I work with. I no longer feel like I am the only one who faces the challenges that disabilities can bring. We are all in this together.”

Work to overcome bias

Inclusivity isn’t an “issue” just for people with disabilities; it’s important for everyone in your organization. Once you set the goal and expectation for a diverse and inclusive organizational culture, follow up with education aimed at promoting understanding and awareness of unique challenges of people with disabilities as well as the importance of inclusion. For example, adopt a policy of using people first language (PFL). People first language is a way of communicating that shows respect for people with disabilities by focusing on the individual and not their disability. For example, if you were discussing modification to your retail space for your clients, instead of saying “disabled customers”, you would use “customers with disabilities.” This recognizes that they have disabilities and allows you to be inclusive and respectful in your planning but doesn’t use their disabilities to define them entirely.

Disability inclusion in post-COVID business

Inclusion is particularly important right now. The global health crisis has highlighted inequities for people with disabilities. Routine healthcare needs like diagnostic testing and therapies are no longer as easy to access. Virtual and masked communications also present challenges that disproportionately affect people with disabilities. As Giselle Mota, board member of ADP’s Thrive BRG, Principal Consultant at ADP on the Future of Work and moderator of an ADP webcast on disability inclusion said, “These are our clients, prospects, coworkers, and employees. How can your organization think about greater equity and inclusivity, especially during these times?”

Learn more

Register for or replay this webcast for more discussion of this question and tips from ADP experts: Disability Inclusion in the Workplace: Best Practices for Engaging and Supporting ALL of Your People.

To learn more about ADP’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please visit our Corporate Social Responsibility site.

Tags: People Management and Growth Trends and Innovation Company Culture Corporate and Social Responsibility Discrimination Diversity Equity and Inclusion Employee Resource Group Large Business Midsize Business Multinational Small Business Articles Business Owner HR Performance Management Talent Acquisition Talent Management Talent

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Two ADP employees having a casual conversation

Does culture really eat strategy for breakfast?

https://eng.lifion.com/yes-culture-does-eat-strategy-for-breakfast-638ae19fc506

Yes, Culture DOES Eat Strategy for Breakfast

Jude Murphy

Jude Murphy

Nov 6, 2019 · 3 min read

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Diverse group of multicultural ADP employees

We All Want to Belong at Work

https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2019/10/we-all-want-to-belong-at-work.aspx

 

“Finding commonalities and accepting differences is the key to belonging,” said ADP’s business anthropologist, Martha Bird.

When I started to consider belonging at work, I knew exactly who to call — ADP’s business anthropologist, Martha Bird [MB]. Here’s some of our conversation about why belonging matters and what organizations can do to create and sustain a culture of belonging.

HB: Having a sense of belonging seems so important to how we move through the world and how we relate to our work. What is belonging?

MB: Belonging almost strikes people as poetic. It seems like a feeling, so it can resist the critical lens we need to unpack it.

People think of belonging as a psychological state, but it is actually cultural. It’s the notion of being inside or outside and relates to enacted phenomena like what the cultural norms are around us and how we compare ourselves to those norms.

Everything cultural is nested in other things and is influenced by power, resources, how things have been done in the past, and what the expectations are for the people involved.

Kids can feel like they don’t belong because of their clothes. New employees can feel like they don’t belong because of the jargon used in the organization. I’m a social scientist surrounded by tech people and it’s not surprising that my sense of belonging is tested from time to time. Ultimately, I’m privileged to feel I’m part of something bigger than myself.

HB: What makes a culture of belonging? It seems like belonging is relational. It’s partly how I perceive the circumstances and culture, how people already in that culture see it, and what’s actually going on regardless of our individual perceptions and opinions.

MB: There are so many ways to feel like you don’t belong — socially, economically, intellectually, emotionally. It’s that sense of other. To make sense of it, we can look at othering, break it down, and pick it apart to see what’s happening. We identify the discreet instances where someone feels alienated and read the cultural cues about what is happening. This gives us information about the culture.

There is no universal recipe for what makes a healthy culture. There are many good and right ways to do things.

It partly has to do with a culture’s view of the individual and how the individual should relate to others. In the United States, belonging often evokes family, but we also have strong cultural values in individuality and being recognized and valued as an individual. In other cultures, a sense of harmony is highly valued and working toward common goals is more important than individual achievement.

A culture of belonging fundamentally has to do with common goals and values, respect for each other, and a sense of our shared humanity.

HB: How can we help people feel like they belong at work?

MB: We want workplaces where people feel like they can be themselves, but are also working with others to do the work. It’s less about fitting in and more about complementing. There has to be room for difference. It’s like an orchestra where the manager is the conductor and we have all these different instruments playing different parts in the same piece of music. We don’t want just the violins or the tubas. We need all the different sounds, rhythms and harmonies.

Belonging at work starts with leaders modeling the values and behavior for their teams. Is it comfortable to embody those values? Sometimes that means being vulnerable and asking for help.

I recently gave a big speech to a large group of people in a setting where I felt anxious. Walking up to the stage, I decided to tell the audience that and ask for help. So I explained how I was feeling and asked them to tell me, “It’s okay, Martha!” It was great, so I asked them to do it again. And they did! I felt so much better and they were all on my team at that point, because I was vulnerable and asked them to help me in a way they could.

In cultures of belonging, it’s okay to be honest about what’s going on, even if it’s that you don’t feel included.

HB: What are some specific things that managers or leaders can do to foster belonging at work?

MB: At the organizational level, it’s essential to ensure that the values of the organization exist at every level and in every manager without exception. It’s also important to consider how to structure teams and make sure they can communicate effectively, based on where and how people work.

At the team level, good manager training is key. Managers need skills in working with teams, allowing for different views, and figuring out how to handle disagreements and how decisions get made. When people can weigh in on something, there is a sense of being in it together.

It’s important to see each other as people, not work roles. Connecting in person and outside of work makes a difference. We need to tell and know each other’s stories and create opportunities for sharing. Have lunch, have informal video meetings where everyone gets to tell something about themselves. I was in a meeting recently where we all told the story of our names. I learned a lot and felt like the people who heard my story knew me a little better, too.

We need more awareness and cultural consciousness by design. People are fundamentally creative and want to learn. We all have different experiences and different lives.

Finding commonalities and accepting those differences is the key to belonging.