How fostering inclusion creates a positive corporate culture and all ‘round good vibes.
With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, now’s a great time to reflect on inclusion in the workplace.
Creating a working environment where everyone feels valued and respected regardless of their differences is something we can all contribute to. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also creates a sense of belonging that we all benefit from.
Getting the foundations right
Inclusive workplaces are marked by 3 key foundations:
- Trust – it takes time to earn and you can’t create an inclusive culture without it. So you best believe it’s worth working on.
- Curiosity – asking questions and being curious about the experiences of others.
- Care – really giving a damn about your people, where they’ve come from, and their unique experiences and stories.
Basically these three factors come down to one tool: Conversation.
Sit down with people in your team and ask them about their experience in your organisation. What’s working? What’s not? What would make them feel a greater sense of belonging?
Leading by example
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
Leaders who make people feel seen and valued for who they are are the ones who foster inclusion. And while it’s not really the point, they also tend to get more out of their team members.
It comes down to empathy.
Being an inclusive leader means knowing your biases and acknowledging that you don’t know everything. We’re talking about humility, people.
It means getting curious – demonstrating an open mindset and willingness to learn about others. Listening without judgment and seeking to truly understand those around you.
It also means developing your cultural intelligence. I.e., learning about other people’s cultures and adapting the rhythm of the workplace in response.
Complacency is the enemy of inclusion
True inclusion is not about ticking the boxes on a diversity and inclusion program.
It’s absolutely not just a matter of ‘set and forget’. We can always do better.
That’s why it’s so important to seek regular and ongoing feedback from employees.
Inclusion is about people and people are dynamic. So your inclusion efforts need to be dynamic too. Check in to see that your people feel that they belong – and that policies are translating to culture.
Inclusion is good for everyone
An inclusive workplace is one where all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities to grow and succeed.
When employees feel that they are valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive
Plus, a diverse workforce comes with a range of perspectives and ideas — which leads to increased creativity, innovation, and problem solving.
In short, valuing inclusion leads to stronger workplaces with good vibes.