Many Voices: Fostering a Culture of Inclusion
Today’s workforce is increasingly diverse in nature, and diversity and inclusion are highly valued. For Millennials and Gen Z, these factors act as powerful motivators when it comes to choosing an employer – and choosing to stick around. By now, these potential employees are more than used to hearing companies pay lip service to diversity and inclusion, but they will see right past empty words and face value stats. They are looking for authentic diversity that is highly valued, and genuine inclusion that permeates company culture.
The Experience: What Does Inclusion Feel Like?
It’s easy to see what diversity looks like, but more important than that is what inclusion feels like. This is the backbone of all of our emotional analytics at Inpulse – finding out how your people are actually feeling and understanding their day to day experience of your company and culture. We need to look beyond the numbers and consider employees as human beings, not just another resource. This is what will equip employers to proactively foster inclusion.
So what does inclusion feel like?
- Equal pay for equivalent roles
- Feeling respected and valued
- Protection from workplace harassment or discrimination
- Knowing that your voice is being heard and your input is welcome
- Being encouraged to collaborate and participate in decision-making
- Opportunities to grow, develop, and advance within the company
- Being equipped with the support you need to succeed
Genuine inclusion fosters a sense of belonging, which in turn breeds greater motivation, creativity, collaboration and retention.
The Key: Inclusion From Day One
One of the things that sets Inpulse apart is that we involve diverse and underrepresented employees in the creation of our diversity and inclusion surveys, discussions, analysis, and strategies. These surveys are an excellent tool for employers who are willing to step into the ongoing cycle of listening to the diverse spectrum of voices within their organisation, making informed and collaborative decisions, reviewing, and inviting continuous feedback.
Such listening strategies must also be supported by supervisors, managers and leaders who have been trained and equipped to implement the vision of diversity and inclusion. Diversity training for managers can help them to be more proactive in supporting, encouraging, and providing opportunities for less represented groups and individuals. This might include recognising talent and potential among employees of all groups and backgrounds, identifying potential barriers to career advancement, and creating opportunities for collaboration between diverse groups.
The Outcomes: Diversity in Action
More than just piecing together a workforce that ticks the boxes in terms of how it looks, employers must go deeper and embrace the value of diversity in informing and shaping who you are as a company. And it’s not just your employees who benefit.
- Authentic and pervasive inclusion capitalises on the rich pool of perspectives, energies, input, insights, and experiences that exists within a diverse community.
- Diversity and inclusion help you better reflect your wider customer base, rather than just certain pockets of society, making it easier to reach and connect with these potential customers.
- An inclusive company will attract and retain more of the best talent from the incoming Gen Z workforce.
In order for this to become an ongoing reality, every member of your diverse workforce needs to feel safe, valued, included, and encouraged to collaborate. Want to find out how you’re doing? Inpulse diversity and inclusion surveys are a great place to start.