Define what inclusion means to you:
This can be a complicated topic because inclusion means different things to different people. In order to set strategies and be more mindful about how we are being inclusive, it’s important to define what inclusion means to you and your business.
We can argue that inclusion is separate from diversity (though inevitably there will be crossovers) as this allows for a greater focus on developing systems that promote inclusivity:
Diversity is very much about people: the workforce.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is about the systems of the workplace, and the way that organisations are built and operate. Managing an organisation in a way that enables and empowers everyone by making room for the individual needs of all employees.
An inclusive workplace is one where the whole team, from director level to the most junior employees, are given a space that fits them and the circumstances of their lives. Should you need to adjust your working conditions for religious reasons, it will be made possible; if your line manager wanted to change their working hours in order to accommodate the school run, then they will be allowed to do so.
Essentially, to be inclusive as an organisation you need to work with your people, so that you suit and embrace their lives and that there is no negative discrimination.
Understand why setting goals on inclusion is important for you and your business:
Setting goals on inclusion is an opportunity to inspire people who haven’t encountered ideas about inclusion. Through sharing information and initiatives with them, we can invite them to join the conversation.
Similarly, these events also reaffirm your own commitment to inclusion. When we engage people from all over a company – even (and perhaps especially) those who are not normally involved with these issues – we can activate the whole company to be advocates for diversity and inclusion.
How can I implement a strategy for my team?
- Define what inclusion means for you and your company
- Build a line of communication between employees and decision-makers that allow for suggestions and initiatives
- Set goals and achievable markers to hit these by
- Schedule in reviews to see how you’re tracking against your goals
- Celebrate your successes – get noisy!
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