Social Exclusion Facts You Should Know

A considerable amount of time at work is spent while in the company of others. Our daily interactions with our colleagues ultimately serve to either satisfy or threaten our fundamental social needs as human beings. It is perhaps not surprising then, that the nature of employees’ interactions with others at work, for better or worse, can have a powerful impact on their job-related attitudes and personal well-being. One particularly important social need is the need to belong — the need to feel valued and acknowledged by those with whom we interact. And one of the greatest threats to the need to belong is social exclusion — interactions with others that make one feel as though we are invisible or left out. Research in management and psychology has established five scientifically supported realities of social exclusion that have important practical implications for ensuring that employees feel comfortable at work.

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Written By

Jane O’Reilly is an Assistant Professor in organizational behaviour and human resource management at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa.

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