Are “People Problems” Getting in the Way of Workplace Collaboration and Success?

When problems emerge in your workplace, learn new ways to connect, collaborate and draw on collective strengths to address your priority team and organizational issues.

Are mental health concerns, discrimination and disengagement creating bigger team and workplace issues?

The success of any workplace is deeply interconnected to the health and wellness of the people and employees within that organization. In fact, research shows disengagement and unhappy workers cost the North American economy $3.5 billion a year.

Currently, a staggering 64% of employees are impacted by mental health issues.

Employees in all sectors may face any of the big issues such as discrimination, high pressure job demands or burnout, harassment or bullying, and substance abuse.

Workplace discrimination

Even “small” workplace issues have major impacts over time.

Employees lose about 2 hours a week of productivity when they either gossip or worry about being talked about. 

Is your workplace culture showing signs of strain?

  • Is your team disengaged?
  • Are you seeing increased issues related to employee wellness?
  • Are your employees and leaders struggling with how to lead and work in the online and remote team settings?
  • Have conflict and divisiveness increased or intensified?
workplace bullying
  • Maybe you are seeing increased blame (towards leadership, policies or system requirements)?
  • Are issues around racism surfacing?  
  • Are leaders struggling to include the voices of impacted employees in decision making?

If you’re struggling with workplace issues, know that you are not alone.

In fact, many organizations and teams are struggling to adapt and redefine workplace culture in these times that we are all living in and navigating through.

Many organizations are experiencing rapid or continuous change. When redesigning or building engaged teams that can both work together and address complex issues, either in person or remotely, if you get off on the wrong foot, trust can be irreparably damaged. The costs to the organization are significant and difficult to repair.

We all know top-down solutions to an organization or team’s most complex social or workplace culture issues are no longer viable. And bottom-up approaches tend to amplify voices, but rarely achieve lasting system change or impact the team culture.

The good news is these outcomes can be avoided; we have solutions that can help.

Your organization can adopt an award-winning and proven roadmap with a track record of creating lasting personal and system change that has reached over 2.5 million people around the world.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

Customized, Facilitated Training for Your Team or Organization

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces focuses on collaborative problem-solving and results in high engagement and team-led solutions for lasting change.

If you’re tired of canned presentations or cookie-cutter facilitation, this won’t feel like another “off the shelf” keynote or flavour of the month speech to your team. From start to finish, this program is designed and delivered around your specific needs.

When teams are part of the process, they are more committed to the solution.

This is where change really begins...

...Employee-led change.

In this facilitated process with conversations about belonging and real workplace issues, employees build skills and confidence that empower them to be collaborative problem solvers together with long-term solutions.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces can be delivered live online, in-person, or a hybrid of both. Throughout the process, Jessie Sutherland shares insights from over 25 years of designing, facilitating and supporting community-led change processes locally, nationally and internationally.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

Talk to Jessie to learn how you can build a supportive workplace culture within your team or organization.

Bring Belonging Matters Conversations To YOUR Workplace

Book a call with Jessie to explore how Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces can be customized to help address your issues, needs and goals. For organizations and leaders who move forward, Jessie will work directly with you to create and communicate the process for Belonging Matters Conversations in your workplace.

Workplace Conversations: Quick Overview

Typically, Belonging Matters Conversations involve:


Initial Team & Planning Meeting

Jessie and any key staff who will be supporting this initiative within your organization will come together for an initial planning meeting.


Belonging Matters Conversations Series

We'll plan a series of 5 facilitated conversations with your team:

  • Why Belonging Matters
  • Addressing Our Priority Challenges
  • Organizational Resources & Building A Supportive Team Culture
  • Co-Creating Our Visual Legacy
  • Generating Ideas and Action Planning


Team & Leadership Supported Collaborative Action Plan

We'll create a concrete, doable action plan with you that the leadership and team agrees to put into motion immediately.

The Benefits of Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

Experience a fully customized, guided process

Jessie walks you and your team through the Belonging Matters Conversations process from start to finish. It is customized to your organization, structure, values and goals. There’s no guesswork or trying to figure it out on your own.

Build organization capacity

The cost of losing seasoned, high-performing staff to competitors or other organizations is high. The Belonging Matters Conversations process helps build employee and leader capacity and fosters retention and growth for employees within your organization.

Create lasting visual legacies

A visual legacy is co-created with the participants to synthesize key insights and commitments for ongoing reflection, awareness and learning. Groups choose a visual legacy medium (e.g. posters, videos, social media, etc.) based on their collective talents.

Avoid financial loss and enjoy cost savings

People issues, disconnection and team breakdowns can cause financial loss for your company and contribute to increased mental health issues among employees. Together, we will help address these issues and create a happier, healthier workplace.

Support your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts

The Belonging Matters framework lends support to your policies, procedures, team charters and the internalization of attitudes and behaviours to foster a respectful workplace environment.

Customize a reflective learning tool for your team

Working in collaboration with your team, we customize a reflective learning tool that will assist senior leadership and your team to internalize agreed upon values and practices.

Contribute to employee wellness
Workplace conversations focused on building belonging can alleviate stress, rebuild trust and restore relationships, which ultimately impact an employee’s levels of wellness and engagement.
“The secret sauce to fostering collaboration that generates innovation and unleashes collective strengths is starting with building a robust culture of belonging.” 

~ Jessie Sutherland

Here’s what people are saying about Jessie’s work and Belonging Matters Conversations

Amanda Brown RSW, Director, ReAct Adult Protection Program, West Vancouver Community Health Centre

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters provides.

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters Conversations provides. The more that we hear the voices of people impacted the most, the more respectful the process and the better the outcomes.

We need to support grassroots and community empowerment processes to achieve prevention and real change.

John Puff Aboriginal Front Door, Belonging Matters Conversations Participant

I highly recommend these dialogues…

I highly recommend these dialogues as it brings out locked in anger and when released gives a feeling of wellness and understanding.

Honourable Senator Roméo Dallaire Former UN Force Commander, Former Senate Member

This is exactly what has to happen.

That concept of finding that home, that serenity, that reference point from which you can build your hope and can in fact provide future generations with an ability to do more is absolutely essential.

Your Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces Customized Program Includes:

Detailed Overview

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces
Part 1: Initial Team & Planning Meeting

We start with an initial planning meeting to review your customized Belonging Matters Conversations program and ensure all the supports are in place for lasting success.

During this time, we’ll discuss the program, roles, responsibilities and timelines as well as conduct an inventory of support within your organization and community that employees can access.

If you have an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) or other supports available internally, it is helpful to include this in the inventory. The inventory of internal and external resources and supports can become a very valuable resource not only to your employees, but also for your leaders, HR professionals, and workplace safety representatives in the future.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces - Conversations & Dialogue Series
Part 2: Belonging Matters Conversations Series

Session #1: Why Belonging Matters

In this session, the team explores what belonging means, shares stories and discusses their key challenges. By the end of this session, the group will have prioritized their key issues in preparation for Session #2. This first session is engaging, interactive and encourages employee involvement in identifying issues the team can work on collaboratively.

Session #2: Addressing Our Priority Challenges

We customize Session #2 based on the priority challenge identified in Session #1. Here, the group will explore their priority challenge through the sharing of stories, exploring root causes and coming up with their own tips and strategies.

Session #3: Organizational Resources & Building A Supportive Team Culture

Next, your team will learn about organizational and community resources they can access to address their priority challenge as well as build their own supportive network as individuals and a team.

Session #4: Co-Creating Our Visual Legacy

Here, your team will review and finalize a visual legacy that represents their journey, the process and the key insights they generated during the previous three sessions.

Session #5: Generating Ideas and Action Planning

In this conversation, the team generates ideas for action planning and comes to a consensus on how they will move forward together to build or strengthen a culture of belonging within their team and organization.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces - Action Plan -
Part 3: Team & Leadership Supported Collaborative Action Plan

Senior leadership support of desired outcomes is critical.

In this final part of the program, Jessie will work with you to bring together your senior leadership and the team to collaboratively move the solutions forward, leveraging all your organizational strengths for lasting change.


Receive these gifts to help you build a culture of belonging in your workplace.

Bonus 1
6-Month Check-In (Booster Session)

We will facilitate a 6-month check-in with you and your team to see how implementing agreements is going. Think of this like a booster session. This opportunity reconnects your team and leadership to the lessons learned, solutions created and the action plan agreed upon by leadership and team.The booster session check-in supports solutions moving forward.

Booster Session
Bonus 2
Culture of Belonging Reflective Learning Instrument

You will access a complimentary culture of belonging reflective learning instrument to help you focus your efforts for greatest impact.

Culture of Belonging Reflective Learning Instrument
Bonus 3
Complimentary Copy of Jessie's Book

Your team will receive a copy of Jessie’s bestselling book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out for your corporate library.

Jessie Sutherland's book synthesizes cutting-edge scholarly research from around the world on the most promising practices for transforming deep-rooted conflict into peaceful co-existence.

Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out by Jessie Sutherland

About Jessie Sutherland,

An international speaker, trainer, and consultant, Jessie Sutherland works with organizations and communities to engage diversity, build belonging and ignite intercultural collaboration.

Recipient of BC Community Achievement Award (2023), her approach creates sustainable community change that effectively addresses complex social problems.

Jessie Sutherland - TEDx Speaker
Jessie Sutherland - 2023 Community Award - BC Achievement Foundation - seal
Jessie Sutherland - Director of Intercultural Strategies

Jessie’s work has been delivered in over eight languages and has taken her across Canada and around the world to support communities in their efforts to address challenging issues including workplace inclusion, poverty, homelessness, the overdose crisis, elder abuse, reconciliation, youth engagement and more. Many of her clients go on to win awards for their work in engaging diversity and fostering collaboration for sustainable and lasting change.

As founder of the organization Intercultural Strategies, Jessie helps leaders and groups build cultures of belonging to create change in an inclusive and positive way. She is the innovator of the award-winning Belonging Matters framework and community change model designed to change mindsets, deepen interconnections, impart greater social capital and build stronger communities.

Jessie holds a M.A in Dispute Resolution, is a TEDx speaker and author of the book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out.

Here’s what people are saying about Jessie Sutherland & her trainings...

Jessie’s values-based approach is a huge reason why I am able to resolve conflicts...

I have been a fan of Jessie’s values-based approach for 15 years. I have benefited in my personal and working relationships, as well as systems thinking. Jessie’s values-based approach is a huge reason why I am able to resolve conflicts as a person who values harmony and avoids conflict.

Faith Magwood Former chair of Aboriginal Neighbours and retired social worker

...she gives students the encouragement they need to “hang out” in the scary spaces between the paradigms…

Jessie Sutherland’s approach dissolves outdated paradigms regarding human conflict and misunderstanding. She offers hope for the development of a new and more useful paradigm, and she gives students the encouragement they need to “hang out” in the scary spaces between the paradigms, while the old one dissolves and the new one develops.

It is an amazing and exhilarating journey.

Nabila Alibhai Kenya

Jessie’s uncanny talent for teasing out self-realizations will undoubtedly transform your approach to resolving conflicts.

Engaging and energetic, Jessie Sutherland personalizes global challenges through enabling a true understanding of conflict transformation. I left her workshop with a greater understanding of how to bring about successful reconciliation at both the personal and political levels. Jessie’s uncanny talent for teasing out self-realizations will undoubtedly transform your approach to resolving conflicts.

Fast Track Your Workplace Culture With Proven Methods, Processes and Tools

Benefit from skill development that equips employees with transportable and transferable skills and tools they can use when other issues arise in their workplace. Team members will learn more about one another in the process of these conversations, leading to increased trust and empathy while also building bridges for collaboration.

Belonging Matters Conversations can help you address workplace issues and save money, retain employees (who can become engaged employees) and keep people happy!


Know where to focus your efforts for greatest impact on your team and organization.


Increase workplace respect and mutual understanding.


Generate innovative ideas and solutions.


Get clarity around team values.


Strengthen internal mechanisms for problem-solving.


Close the communication and understanding gap between employees and senior leadership.


Implement employee-led awareness campaigns.


Transform “people problems” into collaboration.


Build a supportive culture in your team and organization.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

Bring the benefits to your team.

Jessie’s valuable trainings make a difference.

Don Walden Police Recruitment Training, JIBC Police Academy

She turned one of the most challenging topics in our police training program into one of our most effective.

Jessie Sutherland was the lead Diversity instructor in our Police Recruit Training Program. Jessie was able to draw on her unique experience building inclusive communities to develop and deliver an innovative four-stage values-based approach to Diversity. She turned one of the most challenging topics in our police training program into one of our most effective.

Eliana Jimeno International Peacebuilding Specialist is a highly adaptable and responsive framework...

The Belonging Matters framework creates a process in which the indicators for belonging truly emerge from the needs and expectations of the group of people or individuals that work with the framework. In this sense, it is a highly adaptable and responsive framework that does not apply a "one size fits all" approach but walks people though the process of inquiring and finding its own parameters for belonging and its own pace for advancing in the process.

Val MacDonald Director, Seniors Services Society of BC the inner voice to better understand what promotes quality of life.

What Belonging Matters Conversations do so remarkably is to open the inner voice to better understand what promotes quality of life.

I was touched by how simple, yet how profound responses were to topics such as isolation and safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does our team need to do to prepare?

There is not much the team will need to do to prepare. The process will be explained and facilitated by Jessie, and she will provide any information that is needed ahead of time and/or between sessions. There are no pre-reading or pre-session assignments.

What if employees are hesitant to participate?

The process sets people up for success. Having Jessie (a highly skilled facilitator who is external to your team and organization) allows the opportunity for her to engage participants. We’ll work together so that your team has an introduction to Jessie and the process before it begins. Trust in the process and facilitator helps teams build trust within.

What if issues, conflict and disagreement come up during the conversations?

Diverse viewpoints are encouraged and explored. In doing so, teams will have a greater understanding and compassion for each other. Oftentimes, when stories are shared, views soften and shift to build greater unity.

How could the visual legacies that the team create be used in our workplace?

Teams can use visual reminders as an awareness and educational tool for the organization on issues important to them. Many teams find they provide a great summary and reminder of key insights.

Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces

Get at root workplace issues to solve symptomatic problems.

Social Change Mentoring with Jessie Sutherland

Let’s Build Your Workplace Culture of Belonging Together!

This program is the result of more than 25 years of research and working with individuals and teams around the globe delivering training, facilitating processes and building cultures of belonging in groups. I continue to be inspired by the solutions that people create together when stories are shared, understanding is built and solutions are co-created.

It would be an honour to work with you and your team. I look forward to our call to learn more about your organization and where Belonging Matters Conversations For Workplaces could help support the work you are doing to create healthy, respectful workplaces.