If you want to really drive culture change, a strong focus on diversity and inclusion can help your organisation attract top talent and achieve innovative results. So how do you do this?
A sense of belonging is key
In order for each individual to bring their best self forward, each team member should have a connection with the organisation or a group of people that makes them feel like themselves. This not only lends itself to greater engagement and more creativity in the workplace, but psychologically, it’s something people long for to succeed.
While these changes aren’t always linear and taking a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t always the preferred route, sharing best practice can help open your organisation up to trying new things. By going through the hard work of prioritising diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you can create a culture where every team member feels like they belong, no matter how big or small their role is.
Be an empathetic leader
Inclusion and diversity often start with leadership, and every leader, from c-suite leaders to head coaches, need to be committed to the value of belonging. When each leader steps up to own diversity and inclusion, that’s when an organisation really starts to thrive.
In order to do this, leaders must develop their own unique stories and are forced to take a look at themselves and remember times they felt excluded, shamed or alone and apply these lessons outward.
Ana Marinkovic shares her story of coming to Australia as a refugee from war-torn Balkans at the age of 12. This experience shaped her perspective on diversity and inclusion and has propelled her to help people in similar situations find refuge in Australia.
Quotas don’t determine inclusion
Diversity isn’t just hitting a certain quota or boosting numbers, but an employee’s experience extends far beyond receiving an offer. Attracting and retaining top talent requires taking a hard and honest look at the end-to-end employee experience.
By creating conditions that promote inclusion, measuring their impact and adapting processes accordingly, organisations can scale behaviours. It’s understanding how your team works best, when tension can be beneficial, and how you can recognise a stimulating exchange versus a personal attack.
It requires an ongoing commitment
Diversity and inclusion don’t just happen overnight, and achieving this requires ongoing efforts from every team member. It’s not enough to teach employees how to be inclusive, you must delve deeper and help each person build new habits that support honest conversations and healthy disagreements.
Workplace resilience - How does it relate?
So how do inclusion and diversity relate to workplace resilience? Resilience is the ability to cope with the challenges that come with hard work and can be applied to managing stress, a heavy workload, or tensions with other team members.
Diversity and inclusion can play a huge role in workplace resilience, and can encourage team members to be more reflective, apative, responsible and open to other perspectives.
When diversity is achieved, you are able to build a high performance team, where despite challenges, team members are able to bounce back and encourage colleagues and leaders to do the same along the way.