Today marks the start of National Inclusion Week (27th September – 3rd October 2021) which celebrates organisational inclusion in its many forms. This year’s theme is #unitedforinclusion and builds on the momentum created in businesses across the country in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last year. Inclusive Employers, the founders of National Inclusion Week, are running a range of webinars on the subject throughout the week, from investing in inclusion to encouraging a culture of inclusion.
Creating a culture of inclusion is integral to having a good workplace culture. We argue it’s impossible to have one without the other.
While organisational diversity is clearly important, inclusion is arguably even more so. If diversity refers to the range of people in your organisation that come from differing backgrounds, inclusion is the culture which makes them want to stay and reach their true potential at work. By fostering an inclusive workplace culture, you will find it easier to recruit and retain a more diverse and, in turn, higher performing team.
- Take stock
Take an inward look at your organisation and assess whether you already have an inclusive culture. You will only be able to do this successfully by asking your workforce. We find that amnesty sessions work well; create safe spaces for employees to share their experiences anonymously without any fear of repercussions. These sessions almost always uncover ways to improve or build on recent successes. They’re best facilitated by external specialists to ensure team members can be honest in their experiences. This will then guide your approach and give you areas to focus on in the short, medium, and long term.
- The role of leaders
Your management team are crucial to the success of establishing an inclusive workplace culture. They must role model the behaviours that are expected and should demonstrate diversity in all forms. You should therefore consider the behaviours and values your business promotes and establish if managers need development and training inline with this.
- Cultural evolution
A successful workplace culture that puts inclusivity at its heart is a constant evolution. Do the work upfront to set your business up for success, but a quick fix project is unlikely to have impact. Instead review your culture along with your diversity goals on a regular basis. It needs to be reviewed and adapted to support the changing workforce, business, and wider landscape.
Find out more about how to harness an inclusive workplace culture here.
Culture Consultancy help businesses of all shapes and sizes create more positive organisational cultures. Find out how we do it for businesses like Prudential, Arriva and England Golf, here.