Diversity and inclusion are nouns, yet these words are spring-loaded for action within corporate boards and executive suites today. Around the globe, governments, regulators, stakeholders and shareholders are exploring what actions will help wisely leverage the full value of diversity for overall success by creating high-inclusion work cultures.
The research shows the value of doing so is significant. The work from Jorge Titinger and Pedro Espinoza in their recent book “Difference That Make a Difference” cite these results of actual outcomes tied to inclusive, diverse organizations :
3000 of the largest publicly-traded companies in the US show causative links between Inclusion practices and:
- Better innovation of products and services
- Improvements in financial performance
- Improved returns in hedge funds
- Higher corporate valuations
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced “Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a choice.” While he is right, we propose a friendly amendment: Actually, inclusion is a competency.
We all -Individuals, teams and leaders – can develop our skills, methods and practices to become deeply competent and create impactful inclusion.
First Step: Measure Today.
The first caution is to not use management team discussions about impressions of work culture as a substitute for the true voice of employees. Projecting what we believe, imagine or desire misses the mark. Be courageous enough to ask for authentic insights by those who experience the culture in which they work. It is the honest first step for meaningful success.
Invite all employees in your organization to complete the Inclusion Index© survey – a rating of the key criteria tied to inclusive work cultures. It is a brief set of questions which takes about 15 minutes to complete. The protocol is offered both online and by mobile app for easy completion.
The diagnostic is based on global organizational research regarding drivers for inclusion, key indicators as metrics to monitor and outcome measures to evaluate impact of changes made in policies, practices, training and talent composition.
Second Step: Understand Your Strengths and Gaps.
The report identifies the results both overall and by key demographics, including ethnicity, age, gender, roles, e.g., individual contributors, supervisors and executive leaders. It highlights high inclusion measures and cites areas in need of improvement.
Third Step: Create a Team to Develop Action Plans to Improve.
Create a cross-functional team to review the opportunities and propose specific actions to create impactful changes and improvements. Review the proposal and secure approval by leadership to execute the plan. Identify professional experts who can support efforts in competency training, coaching, mentoring, policy revisions and talent acquisition.
Fourth Step: Share the Results and Actions Planned with All Employees.
People want to know their voices are both heard and respected. Share the results authentically and outline your plans for progress. Invite volunteers who would like to contribute to the work on the action plan. Engaged employees drive change most effectively as they own the results proudly.
Fifth Step: Monitor Program Progress
Hold quarterly reviews to track performance of the plan. Acknowledge exceptional and creative accomplishments by those who make it happen.
Sixth Step: Measure After a Year.
Transformation and competency development are on-going processes. Invite employees to complete the Inclusion Index again. Evaluate the change over time in the results. Celebrate improvements with special recognition of those who contributed. Ensure this is an opportunity for continuous improvement and invite all to contribute to perpetually improving.
Assessment is the first step. Our proprietary report is a solid way to identify opportunities for change.
Making them happen is next. We are happy to work with you on programs, training, coaching, practices, team engagement and communications that ensure your company creates positive culture changes that make impactful improvements for all. Call us to explore creative ways to make a difference!