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iBelong campaign inspires HR leaders to develop inclusivity for everyone in the workplace

·5 min read

In a tough recruitment environment, employees want more than just a job, they need belonging

TORONTO, May 17, 2022 /CNW/ - In today's tough recruitment market, it is not enough to simply build a diverse workforce and then let your employees get to work while you turn your attention elsewhere. Changing times, norms, and the pandemic have shown that these days a pay cheque isn't enough. To move the dial on employee engagement and overall performance outcomes, organizations must commit to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels they belong.

iBelong campaign inspires HR leaders to develop inclusivity for everyone in the workplace (CNW Group/iHealthOX)
iBelong campaign inspires HR leaders to develop inclusivity for everyone in the workplace (CNW Group/iHealthOX)

In a bid to create awareness and action, Canadian health and wellness benefits company iHealthOX has launched the "iBelong" campaign to empower employers, HR leaders and employees to talk about and prioritize mental health. Among the campaign's goals are to help employers achieve long-term success by showing them how they can invest in effective and meaningful plans to support their workforce's mental health.

The iBelong campaign website features a wealth of information and resources to help employers and HR leaders prioritize diversity and inclusivity, including white papers on increasing employee engagement, tips for HR leaders and other special content. Moving forward, iHealthOX will continue to provide employers with helpful information about mental and emotional health in the workplace through the website, webinars, social media, and other platforms. Employers can also sign up to receive monthly resources about belonging in the workplace and have chances to win a Lunch & Learn for their employees.

"The past two years have wreaked havoc on mental health in the workplace, bringing unprecedented attention to a pre-existing healthcare crisis that was exacerbated by COVID," says Terri Storey, Co-founder and CEO of iHealthOX. "The cost of doing nothing, or providing ineffective benefits, puts organizations at a higher risk of employee burnout, attrition and absenteeism, an increase in LTD benefits paid, a critical labour shortage, and low employee engagement."

Why "belonging" is important

Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace are vital but fall short on their own. A sense of "belonging" plays a major role in creating a workplace where all employees can truly thrive, even more so for employees who may feel isolated and anxious. Employees who know they are respected and cared about will be able to flourish in the organization and perform their best work.

"While most companies have diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, 'belonging' is often a missing component," says Storey. "The iBelong campaign will focus on strategies HR leaders can start employing right away to attract, and keep, an engaged workforce."

Tips on how to foster belonging through inclusivity

Developing a culture of belonging through inclusivity is something that happens over a longer period of time. However, there are immediate steps organizations can take to help foster a truly inclusive environment, including:

  • Establishing a diversity and inclusion working group - Give employees the opportunity to share their ideas and send a clear message to staff that inclusivity is valued.

  • Offering an inclusive, accessible well-being and mental health platform - Evaluate whether your current employee benefits vendor offers resources that align with how your employees want to access well-being and mental health care whether it's one-on-one, in a group setting, or on their own with self-serve resources.

  • Creating a safe space to work in - This includes having clear policies preventing harassment, and access to leadership support and external resources if they feel unsafe or threatened at work.

  • Prioritizing inclusivity and diversity training - A training program to educate employees, managers and executives about diversity and inclusion in the workplace; can also be built into onboarding.

  • Reflecting diversity in your committee leadership - Ensure workplace committees are led by employees from different cultural backgrounds so that different voices are heard, valued and can help promote positive changes for everyone.

  • Modelling behaviours and inclusive language - Leaders and managers should address employees appropriately, including using certain pronouns where appropriate. They may also learn about and celebrate important holidays and events that are representative of their diverse staff.

  • Embedding inclusivity into your corporate language - Ensure corporate language is free from phrases or language that might be offensive to members of marginalized groups.

  • Adding pronouns to your signatures - Add preferred pronouns to your signature block to ensure that you are being addressed by your preferred pronouns, and to open the door for those with pronoun preferences to advocate for what they prefer in a subtle way.

  • Celebrating your differences by expanding the holiday calendar - Ask staff what holidays or days of recognition are important to them. Look for opportunities to hold team building activities around events like Pride, or non-secular religious holidays.

  • Checking in with staff and acting - It's one thing to try and foster inclusivity, but you need to check in with staff to see if your efforts are working. Consider sending an annual diversity and inclusion survey to staff to ask them how included they feel and if they have any suggestions for improvements. When those results come in, don't sit on them. Create and execute a corporate action plan that will strengthen the organization's commitment to inclusivity and belonging and really make an impact on engagement.

"This may also be a time that as an HR leader, you might wish to assess the mental health and wellness benefits solution you currently have for your employees and see how they fit with helping staff feel they are not just included, but actually belonging," Storey added.

"I encourage all leaders to ensure they're choosing a mental health benefits platform that will be inclusive of all their employees' needs and drive higher employee engagement."

Information on how iHealthOX partners with employers to deliver effective, comprehensive and inclusive mental health care is available at

About iHealthOX

iHealthOX is a health and wellness benefits company for employers that is revolutionizing the delivery of primary and mental health care in Canada by using data and advanced technologies to turn healthcare costs into a high value investment.

Through holistic health care plans that use apps, surveys, self-serve digital courses, and personal health coaches to monitor the health of employees and their families, iHealthOX is transforming health care from a reactive to proactive health care benefit that reduces absenteeism and increases employee productivity. For more information, please visit and



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