Inclusion is not about changing people’s values, nor confronting religious beliefs. Fundamentally inclusion is about valuing and celebrating difference. At its heart, inclusion aims to create a safe workplace that is built on trust and is free from discrimination.
So, you have recently promoted or hired a new manager in a department and as always one always comes into a new place with fresh ideas and different ways and objectives. However top of mind for you is that you are very much aware that diversity in the work place is important, but you don’t know how to go about determining just how diverse your new workplace really is. According to research and in your experience you have seen how diverse workplaces perform better, and you need some quick-fire ways to understand and assess in order to implement and infuse this into your new team or department.
Here are 6 questions and points to consider to help build your diversity strategy:
- The organisations policies, practices and procedures are flexible and responsive to the needs of all employees, without evidence of prejudice and discrimination. Inclusive policies build an environment of trust.
- Instead of trying to make its people conform, is your new organisation/department actively seeking to capitalise on the advantages of its diversity?
- Are the organisational benefits (ie perks, income, job progression etc) distributed equally? Or are they being determined by cultural characteristics. Here its important to also assess the levels of unconscious bias at play.
- Those in positions of authority have the same and equal ability to influence decisions and that minority group manager have been fully integrated into the leadership. Amongst an organisation’s stakeholders, the executive team have the greatest influence over inclusion. They set the culture, shape the values and provide vision.
- Is the organisational culture such that both majority and minority group members identify and support its vision and goals. Inclusion provides a litmus test for engagement.
- Is there a balance between being professional and also freely expressing cultural norms and that there is little to no intergroup conflict between diverse groups.
As you begin to make your initial surveys of the work conditions, and assessments of policies and organisational climate, these considerations will certainly help you to quickly classify and assess the inclusiveness and diversity of your new position.
Remembering always that inclusion is not about changing people’s values, nor confronting religious beliefs. Fundamentally inclusion is about valuing and celebrating difference. At its heart, inclusion aims to create a safe workplace that is built on trust and is free from discrimination.