These days the best workplaces are not only those with high pay and plush offices but also those who inspire a company culture where everyone can thrive and prosper. This can be done in a number of ways like ensuring proper employee engagement, as we have touched on previously here on Delivering Happiness. Although the meaning of employee engagement can change depending on your company’s context, an inclusive company culture is always needed to make your employees feel engaged and truly part of a community. As we will be discussing in this article, there are many other ways to foster an inclusive environment.
One way is by changing who you meet on a regular basis. It stands to reason that if you’re only meeting with high-level senior staff and only listening to their opinions, you’ll probably end up in an echo chamber. Without realizing it, you have already isolated yourself from the other employees. Combating this is as easy as rotating the staff you meet with. Chances are you’ll be hearing a host of new insights and opinions you’ve never even considered, paving the way for a healthy debate. Cat Graham writes that this is just one way to inspire fresh, new solutions to complex problems. By doing something as simple as meeting with a variety of people throughout the company, you have already paved the way for greater inclusivity and more connectedness in your organization.
According to an article by FemCove, another way is by purposefully designing your company structure and policies to be as inclusive as possible. Data can be used to analyze trends in employee demographics, like ensuring pay raises and promotions are as objective as possible. Surveying employees on their views regarding your workplace environment and culture can also shed light on how they feel, even more so if they are given a platform like employee resource groups. Initiatives such as these play an integral role in maintaining diversity in your talent base and should be cherished.
Of course, the best way to have an inclusive company culture is to have a leader who lives by it. None of the above steps mean anything if you don’t have a leader who actually values engagement and is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Even universities are seeing the value in diversity and leadership, with schools like Bentley University, which is signing up to provide educational tours for students designed to empower inclusivity. The school has even gone as far as recruiting talent whose previous work includes helping corporations become more diverse through action steps and thought leadership. Similarly, Maryville University claims that leaders should have an understanding of both psychology and business if they want to positively impact change on others. It’s not hard to see then, why the catalysts for a positive change in working culture are often the leaders themselves.
As pointed out from a Recruiter.com article, a more diverse and inclusive workplace results in recruiting and retaining top talent and even expediting innovation. The easy explanation is that a company that values what their employees have to say fosters a greater inclusive culture. Moreover, having a pro-active and responsible leader who values employee engagement works wonders for motivating employees. True leaders embrace inclusivity because they understand that when the individual succeeds, so does everyone else.
How much is inclusion embedded in your culture? Ask about our Culture Audit workshop to evaluate the gaps and strengths of your culture: