9 Ways to promote INCLUSIVENESS in your ecosystem...
Inclusiveness in our society -family and organizations is an important aspect in creating an engaged and motivated workforce or aware citizens. A lot today gets done in the name of Inclusiveness and Diversity, however some fundamentals are still not taken into consideration...and sometimes the policies need to be better executed.
Discrimination in various forms have existed in our societies across the globe, whether it's class system, quota system, language proficiency biases and so on. In spite of our progress in our civilizations, we are yet to be completely moving beyond our judgements based on our culture, value systems and that of others...
Benefits of Inclusiveness or belongingness that ultimately affect the bottom-line, improve work results, and make executives happy in organisation. Likewise in a social set up or in family we benefit if we are able to build a inclusiveness mindset or culture. This also ensures better leverage of best skills -competencies -views -values etc.
The benefits are multiple in organizational context -increased job satisfaction, less attrition or disengagement, higher productivity & performance, better motivation, improved creativity-innovation -problem solving, also a diverse talent pool to impact organizational ideation process.
9 Ways to promote an inclusive culture are:
Start with the LEADERS - Leaders in communities -companies and countries need to be more accepting towards building and nurturing a diverse team and inclusive culture. A survey report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found among the Fortune 500 companies, only 24 CEOs are women, which represents just 5% of the total number of CEOs. The same report pointed out that, among the 500 CEOs, only three are black, another three are openly in LGBT categories. Accordingly, it is essential to have diversity among top management that is diverse. A leader's voice and perspective in the ecosystem plays a critical role in building this
Everyone's voice is heard and respected -Most often employees quit jobs when they feel that their authentic self and uniqueness is not appreciated or valued. As such, it is vital to create an environment where they feel a sense of connectedness-belongingness to the company and its people. Employees need to feel free to express themselves based on their unique perspectives. Companies must make sure employees feel included and respected regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, physical condition, cultural background or country of origin. Also avoiding any biases, favoritism, practice basic courtesy, and pay special attention to how you can embrace non-discriminatory practices and policies. Employees feel included when they feel “safe” to voice their concerns and opinions without fear of victimization.
Multilingual workforce - If you truly want everyone to feel included, make sure you take into account language barriers and preferences. Global companies deal with this sort of thing all the time; let’s say they have different teams, working in different countries, speaking the same language … but they want to invite all those teams to participate in a virtual event. As a long-term approach, having a multilingual workforce may call for educational opportunities for workers to learn other languages. This might sound prohibitively expensive but think of it as an investment that yields returns in due time.
Multigenerational Workforce -A workforce that recognizes and accommodates multiple generations is essential in building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Every generation comes with their own talents and skills. Millennials for example are tech savvy, older millennials might not have the same proficiency with tech tools as their younger counterparts. The five generations who we see in general in our ecosystems -Generation Z (1997–2012), Millennials (1981–1996), Generation Xers (1965–1980), Baby boomers (1946–1964), Silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) Sometimes certain employees are more comfortable using social channels, for example, or group chat functions. On the other hand, employees of older generations might not embrace such communications channels so readily. Being accepting towards every generation can give great leverage for the progress of the organization.
Address Needs and Preferences of others on everyday basis -In addition to holiday parties, many offices celebrate minor holidays (like Halloween) or events like birthdays. Whenever you have even a casual company event, be sure to include food and beverages that everyone can eat and drink. Also, not everyone likes to celebrate birthdays, so be sure to ask the employee what he or she prefers (and never reveal the employee’s age or year of birth). Make sure employees know such events are optional. For example, some employees may suffer from intense shyness and would panic at the thought of having to attend a work-sponsored social outing etc.
Focus groups & surveys to understand challenges -Focus groups and surveys are a good way to collect qualitative data and gain deeper insights into employees. By using an outside facilitator, employees may be more comfortable speaking freely, and the outside company will maintain a neutral position. These tools can be implemented and assessed by third party for more transparency and kept confidential to avoid any bias.
No biases in Evaluation or promotion opportunities - Leaders need to be more conscious about sexism, racism, and ageism while hiring, promoting or even in regular evaluations. This can adversely impact prioritizing meritocracy.
Personalized Conversations -Skip levels sometimes can be intimidating; so organizing informal conversations with employees or members is always important to gain true perspective. Also keeping an open door policy to allow people to reachout, and also encouraging expression of diverse views,
Mentorship Programs -Hiring a diverse workforce is important, but mentorship programs are a key component of workplace diversity programs to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to advance. Mentoring is a great way to increase bonding and inclusiveness in ecosystem.
Look forward to hear more from you on how you manage your inclusiveness and diversity, to enhance talent & productivity of your ecosystem. For more on learning in this area do explore our program link below: