Just over a year ago, we shared this blog where we defined inclusion and described why it's important to organizations. You might have also seen our "Inclusion Checklist." But where do you go from there? You know inclusion is important, but what does that look like in your organization?
Inclusion is much more than just checking the boxes or filling a quota.
Inclusion is about the human experience, about belonging, about feeling valued and accepted. As we like to say, diversity is how we see each other, but inclusion is how we treat each other. We walk around every day and notice the differences between us and the people around us, either consciously or unconsciously. How we react to others and accept others is a choice.
We need to actively make the choice to use inclusive behaviors. Not only is it good for the people in your organization, but it's good for business as well. The research shows that inclusive leaders increased perceived team performance, team decision making quality, and collaboration. Just having an inclusive leader made that difference! What difference could be made if the whole organization focused on inclusive behaviors?
Enough about this broad "idea" of inclusion behaviors - what does that actually mean? Inclusive behaviors can be as basic as emotional intelligence and as complex as bystander intervention. Sometimes all it takes is an awareness of others around us - and understanding that all backgrounds and experiences are valuable. When we accept and value the diversity around us, we begin to include others and see less divisiveness.
Maybe you're reading this blog feeling a little overwhelmed. You want to have an inclusive workplace but it seems like a lot of work.
Don't panic! Rome wasn't built in a day!
Everyday inclusion means taking baby steps to building an inclusive workplace. It means working toward inviting all voice to the table, using micro-affirmations, and strengthening emotional intelligence in your team.
Don't know where to start? Measuring behaviors certainly isn't easy, but we put our thinking caps on. We can help you build a custom platform to measure and track inclusive behaviors. Give it a look here and reach out if you'd like to learn more.