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September 2019

workplaces happiness begins with inclusion - Lead Inclusively

Employees’​ Happiness Begins With an Inclusive Workplace Culture

By | Diverity & Inclusion, Gender Inclusion, Gender Parity, Generation inclusion, High Tech, Inclusive Leadership, organizational culture | No Comments

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would disagree with the idea that happy teams are better teams. Happy teams comprised of happy, engaged employees are statistically more productive and focused. It is estimated that companies with a highly engaged workforce make upwards of 147% more earnings per share than unengaged workforces. Happy teams are also objectively healthier. According to WebMD, upwards of 90% of doctors’ visits can be attributed to some form of negative stress in a patient’s life. It is also estimated that upwards of $576B are lost every year by US employers to workforce illness. All of this even though, on average, companies spend around $750 per employee on employee wellness initiatives. For these reasons and more it is fair to say that workplace engagement and happiness begins with an inclusive workplace culture.

Inclusive leadership creates a culture that fosters innovation and drives performance. Having happy employees is the root of innovation and performance. Workplace happiness begins and ends with a culture that is inclusive of its team members. Here’s how:

Happiness begins with feeling understood

Psychology Today suggests that feeling understood is arguably more important to happiness than feeling loved. Inclusive cultures foster the psychological safety necessary for all members to feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace. Inclusion also fosters a culture that places value on individuals for being themselves.

Happiness begins with belonging

Feeling understood gives people a sense of belonging. Knowing that a team respects and appreciates what makes each person different as individuals helps engage all team members. This becomes increasingly important for women, minorities and LGBTQ+ members of a team, who are typically not as well-represented on teams, especially at senior levels.

Happiness begins with being part of something bigger than yourself

When individuals feel like they are understood, they achieve a sense of belonging and connection to the larger team. When ALL team members feel a sense of belonging, they are ready to work together to achieve a collective vision and contribute to larger company goals.

Happy employees are empowered employees

Once ALL employees feel like they are understood, they can achieve a sense of belonging. This helps them feel like they are part of a team with a sense of community that is purposeful. Individuals who feel part of a team that is bought-in to each other and a collective goal, are truly empowered to innovate. Companies that can foster a culture of inclusion can fully expect to reap the benefits of a happy, engaged and empowered workforce.

What can we do?

We believe that leaders are the catalysts to transforming and sustaining inclusion in team culture. But how do we train leaders to be inclusive in the moments that matter most? How do we change the way we coach leaders to be more effective and consistent in their ability to be inclusive? Here are 5 areas of leaders’ daily lives that we can focus our training on to directly impact inclusiveness on teams.

What do you think?

Is there a correlation between inclusion in the workplace, and happiness? Is it fair to argue that when happiness fosters innovation? How can companies transform their culture to help their employees be happier while also boosting the bottom line?

Join a more in-depth discussion to share your insights and receive crowd-sourced solutions from fellow professionals in the space in an open Q&A session.

Diversity and Inclusion Solutions Event


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

 

Navigating our Busy Workdays to Effectively Embed Inclusive Leadership

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In a recent webinar (you can access the recording here), we discussed the 5 key areas to embed inclusive leadership within a company culture. The dictionary defines the word embed as “to enclose closely in or as if in a matrix” or, “to make something an integral part of”. No word better describes the relationship between inclusion and leadership behavior as a driver of culture change. Inclusion that is not embedded will not sustain and, in turn, will fail to impact companies’ ability to attract talent and innovate at the highest level. Being able to “embed” anything is no small task, and doing so while navigating the complexities of team culture, and individuals’ daily lives make it that much more daunting of a proposition.

With that said, research and technology have allowed us to pinpoint the key areas we can embed behavior and culture change that will change workplaces in a way that even the most inspirational one-off training can’t. Here are the key areas that present the greatest opportunity to embed an inclusive culture within teams on a daily basis.

The 5 key areas to Embed Inclusive Leadership

 

Inclusion Virtual Coach App - Lead Inclusively

Meetings

Meetings are one of the best opportunities for a leader to embed inclusion on their teams. Events like these allow leaders the opportunity to lead by example which permeates culture change throughout teams and companies. They are also great ways to enlist input from team members and facilitate idea-sharing that catalyzes innovation.

Hiring

Hiring is the critical area where leaders can build and embed an inclusive culture from the ground up. But most leaders (by no fault of their own) do not know that inclusion is vital to mitigating unconscious biases that impact their ability to objectively and effectively hire the right people for the right position. Failing to do so, sets new hires up for failure and leaves teams vulnerable to attrition.

Performance Management

Leaders must be able to analyze performance with an awareness of their personal biases and the cognitive diversity of their team members. Being able to evaluate and manage performance inclusively is a vital skill that sets team members up for success and establishes trust which benefits the overall team.

Team Development

Stretch assignments, mentoring, succession planning. All of these (and more) are great opportunities for leaders to grow their team members’ skills, advance their careers, and build better relationships. But does a leader know how to objectively and effectively delegate tasks? Do they know how to facilitate and grow valuable mentoring relationships? How do they go about choosing and preparing the right candidate for their succession plan? Do they know how to build team chemistry in a way that is inclusive and truly fosters ideation?

Strategy and Planning

A leaders’ ability to use inclusion to craft the right strategy sets the table for how they manage and evaluate their teams going forward. Leaders need to be trained in the art of crafting a strategy that addresses the nuances of team culture as it relates to overall success. They also stand to benefit by better synthesizing the “big picture” to mitigate biases and involve their team in strategic planning. This sets the table for a team that is focused and bought-in to a collective vision of success.

But how we harness these areas to sustain impactful culture change?

To be able to harness these areas to the benefit of their team culture and productivity, leaders will be challenged to apply the right focuses and behaviors at the right time during their daily workdays. But how can we expect leaders to remember these behaviors and instinctually recognize moments to apply them during their busy personal and professional lives? Technology has not only allowed us to recognize these five focus areas, but it allows us to deliver the necessary training to leaders at the exact times they will need it most.

So where is your current training successful (or not) in equipping leaders to harness these 5 areas to embed inclusive leadership and foster a culture that is more inclusive and productive? Join any of these virtual-live Q&As for a more in-depth discussion.

Diversity and Inclusion Coaching


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.