In support of National Inclusion Week 2021 (September 27 to October 3), Stephen Frost urged organizations to renew their commitment to inclusion as a business imperative for better business.
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Inclusive workplaces perform best
“In our professional lives, we have a responsibility to include to do the job,” continues Stephen Frost. “The workplace is where recalibration can happen, where people have to work with people outside their cultural and social groups. “Citing research, Stephen Frost highlights how inclusive organizations do better business, are more productive, generate more revenue, perform better problem-solving and strategy tasks, think more creatively, are better able to negotiate and make better decisions.In addition, employees of these organizations report feeling increased commitment, motivation, confidence and well-being at work.
More satisfaction and commercial performance
More inclusive workplaces have higher customer satisfaction. Recent research in the healthcare sector has shown that more inclusive practices lead to greater engagement of healthcare practitioners, leading to better patient outcomes.In other sectors as well, this increased engagement boosts productivity. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has indicated that a projected annual savings of $ 18 billion could be achieved through increased engagement in inclusive practices. McKinsey’s How Inclusion Matters report shows that over 30% of UK and US companies with gender or ethnically diverse management teams are likely to outperform those with less ethnic diversity or fewer women.
Stephen’s Top Five Inclusion Practices All Employers Should Include in the Workplace
- Psychological security: It is the most important factor in making people feel included in an organization. Psychological safety is the extent to which your employees feel comfortable when they seek to express their dissatisfaction or disagreement, suggest innovations, or potentially make mistakes. A boost that could be done to increase psychological safety is to assign a person to play devil’s advocate in teamwork situations. It can help people feel more comfortable voicing their disagreement, and the role can be rotated within the team. This can reduce prejudices in meetings and facilitate decision making. Creating a space that encourages disagreement can be helpful in reducing group thinking and encouraging people to get down to business.
- Transparency: To better retain talent, organizations must ensure transparency and objectivity in their performance and reward structures. Develop an open culture with strong communication in all directions within the organization. Open dialogue and active listening are essential parts of the culture here. Actively solicit feedback from your teams and act on the ideas and suggestions received. Keep lines of communication open through a range of accessible methods such as intranets, newsletters and other internal communication channels. It is also important to denounce bad behavior, establish clear and inclusive talent paths and publish salaries internally for salary transparency.
- Micro-behaviors: Often unconscious, sometimes imperceptible behaviors, such as language, tone and gestures, have a significant impact on various organizational outcomes, including team effectiveness and perception of company values. All employees should be trained to understand and participate in inclusion in the way they do their jobs and work with their colleagues. This needs to be built into the design of the organization. Colleagues need to understand that they have an individual responsibility to meet these standards. Introduce clear processes for dealing with all forms of harassment and bullying, to make it clear that this behavior will not be tolerated.
- The measure: Many organizations have become adept at measuring diversity, but few measure inclusion adequately. The behaviors and experiences of the workforce need to be measured to fully understand what needs to be done. Inclus has developed a unique inclusion diagnostic that leverages information, research and data to enable more accurate diagnosis and enable more targeted, inclusive solutions to be put in place.
- The “Understand, Lead, Deliver” Theory of Change: First, we need to understand the problem and define our own “why” in a way that makes sense to us and our work. Second, we must take personal responsibility for our own leadership. No one else can lead for you. Third, we need to deliver: focus on concrete actions that are thoughtful, personal, and make a measurable difference for those around us.
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