Diversity and inclusion initiatives have impacted enterprises for the better from talent acquisition to governance and board rooms, but we still have a long way to go. Acting on these diversity and inclusion initiatives and implementing substantive, enterprise-wide change is still a challenge. In tumultuous times like many of us are experiencing, we all look to leaders to guide us through the rough waters and navigate safely to shore. Perhaps, now is the perfect time to review these diversity clauses and build out philosophies and action items, so equity can flourish throughout our businesses.
Let’s take a closer look at diversity and inclusion and what this means to companies around the globe. The first step for many executives is to recruit a workforce that reflects global diversity, supports underrepresented communities, and create career advancement opportunities that are available and transparent to everyone. Diversity often refers to characteristics, both seen and unseen, that include things like gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability status.
Inclusion on the other hand, is creating a sense that all are welcome, included, and equal. Inclusion is about behavior and this behavior can set the tone for your workforce. A sense of inclusion begins with leaders and spreads across an organization. Inclusion has a lasting impact on how your workforce feels at work and about their work. It keeps morale high and your organization operating at full capacity. Leaders can redefine themselves as vocal sponsors to support their colleagues and make an active effort to ensure that marginalized voices are heard and respected.
The awareness of both diversity and inclusion builds recognition and helps us to consider situations on a deeper level than just a business strategy. The who and why of business challenges rise to the top and allow everyone the courage to speak openly about their own strengths and weaknesses. When your group is skilled, talented, and diverse many viewpoints are considered. When your team feels included and equal, no one falls into a “group mentality” and everyone willfully brings their views and experiences to the table. Dynamic teaming is born out of diversity and inclusion. These two elements are essential to your enterprise’s success and your employee’s experience.
Build Humanity Instead of Bringing Groups Together
What if we stopped talking about groups, genders, races, and cultures and instead challenged ourselves all to be better humans? Enterprises are working to become more fluid and adaptable. This year alone we’ve been challenged by moving our workforces to remote status and we’ve been highly impacted by machine learning and automation, plus the new pace of business we all work by is a difficult balance. Change is something we all need to embrace and be ready for. Maybe it’s time we look at our own humanity and take stock in our new normal. Build dynamic teams that break down barriers and maximize momentum. This new normal is humbling and hard. We need to lean on each other now more than ever. Maybe change can be the factor that makes us all equal, all valuable, and all-important.
Advocating and affecting change should rise to the forefront of our thinking, not just when solving business challenges, but when building teams and uniting departments. Breaking down processes and systems that create inequities should be examined so they can be changed.
We’re all taught at a young age to make friends, to be a good friend, and to value and defend our friends. With workspeed creating a frenzied pace in our professional lives, our colleagues can be the people we spend the most time with. Ask yourself this: if you saw inequity occurring would you intervene or look the other way? Your workforce is more than an acquaintance, they are your company’s backbone. The emergence of employee experience and statistics tracking employee retention require your attention because they are integral analytics related to your success. Protect your people. Always.
Take Stock Daily and Give Thanks
While change is challenging and in today’s modern landscape constantly occurring, we have to give thanks to those who show up for us every day. Departments and organizations are merging constantly. Uncertainty is all around us and yet the core of our workforces are showing up and are trying to adopt new ways of working. Look for the people who take the challenging tasks, the tasks with high risk and lower guarantee success, and make them successful in spite of that. Value, promote, and reward these people. Everyday achievements, even the small ones, keep your enterprise moving forward.
The Success Cycle: Learn, Grow, Change – Repeat
All failures contain lessons. We all know it. We’ve all heard it. Now is the time to live it and put it into practice.