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Many modern businesses have embraced the concept that diversity and inclusion is beneficial from both a business standpoint and a value perspective. However, implementing these values and measuring the outcome can be a challenge. This week’s blog post will explore how leadership teams can continue to grow their diversity and inclusion efforts.

 

What is an inclusive workplace?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines inclusion as, “the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.”

In other words, inclusion in the workplace means empowering employees from a variety of backgrounds with a sense of belonging and community. Consider the following key questions:

  • – Can employees bring their “whole selves” to work?
    – Can employees voice diverse points of view?
    – Who is on the company’s leadership team?
    – What resources and opportunities are available to each team member?

 

Benefits of an inclusive workplace

According to research by Deloitte, organizations with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be innovative and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets.

“Our research demonstrates that inclusive talent practices drive measurable and predictable business outcomes,” said Stacia Sherman Garr, vice president, talent and workforce research leader, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “After two years of study, we conclude that these business outcomes are possible for all companies – but only with a change in focus. The research shows that CEOs and business leaders should own the strategy, and the entire organization should embed and use inclusive talent practices.”

Additionally, workplaces that value diversity and inclusion allow employees to be themselves, share problems, make mistakes, and contribute ideas.

 

How do you create an inclusive workplace?

Move beyond diversity. Diversity refers to who is in the room, who is hired, and what groups are represented. Inclusion, however, refers to providing opportunities, resources, and community to everyone on the team.

Implement multiple forms of diversity. An inclusive workplace should be prepared for multiple dimensions of diversity. Here are a few examples: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, personality, socioeconomic status, and education level.

Provide resources and opportunities. Empower employees by providing opportunities for advancement. This includes creating space for everyone to bring their whole selves to work, as well as providing mentorship to everyone on the team.

Drive accountability. Companies should focus on strategic measurements to track the impact of their inclusion practices. Senior leadership should discuss achievements and areas of improvement regularly with the team.

Companies looking to further develop their inclusion strategy can look to Novel Coworking client Holistic. Holistic helps companies build diverse, inclusive, vibrant workforces by using data and analysis to attract, retain, inspire, and motivate top talent.

 

The 6 C’s of inclusive leadership

The benefits of a diverse and inclusive company culture are clear, but what does it mean to be an inclusive leader? According to Deloitte, there are 6 attributes required for inclusive leadership.

Commitment – Developing an inclusive work environment can be challenging and requires resources. Inclusive leaders are committed to the process and understand the importance of diversity from both a business standpoint and a personal value system.

Courage – Inclusive leaders are required to speak up and challenge the status quo, while also remaining humble and reviewing their own weaknesses. This vulnerability requires courage.

Cognizance – Speaking of owning weaknesses, inclusive leadership means taking a close look at unconscious bias. Leaders should be mindful of both personal and organizational bias, ensuring a positive work environment for everyone.

Curiosity – Leaders who have an open mind and a willingness to learn about other people’s experiences will be better suited to support an inclusive work culture. If a leader isn’t curious, they can’t change.

Cultural Intelligence – An understanding of various cultures is helpful, but it may be more important for inclusive leaders to recognize how their own culture impacts their worldview. This means paying close attention and avoiding cultural stereotypes.

Collaboration – Empowering individuals and diverse teams is essential for inclusive leadership. Individuals should feel comfortable sharing their diverse perspectives, which will then enhance the team as a whole. Learn more about collaborative workspaces here.

 

Novel Coworking offices offer a collaborative environment with business owners from a multitude of diverse backgrounds. Plus, Novel Coworking provides amenities such as gender neutral bathrooms and mother’s rooms to support inclusive practices. Book a tour today to learn more.