Make it a practice to keep an eye out for employees who feel left out of the mainstream for one reason or another, such as a new employee eating lunch alone in the cafeteria. Solitude on the job will lead to a feeling of isolation that will eventually affect the employee’s performance even though it has nothing to do with his or her skills.
If you notice an employee is keeping to himself or herself, try to find the reason he or she is isolating themselves. Perhaps the person is shy and finds it difficult to speak up. Maybe he or she looks or sounds different from everyone else and has been made to feel insecure in the group. Or perhaps he or she grew up in an unfamiliar culture and coworkers are uneasy about how to relate to him or her.
There are a million reasons a person can feel excluded in the workplace, but whatever the underlying cause may be, the instant it comes to your attention, take steps to rectify the situation. Make sure your team understands how important it is that everyone on the team feels included regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical appearance.
Remember, anyone who feels left out…is left out.
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici