Creating Inclusive Cultures - The risk of doing nothing
22 September, 2016
Many industries are increasingly realising that building better workplaces for all has a positive impact on productivity, employee engagement and the bottom line. In their recent research, Deloitte identified an 80% improvement in business performance when levels of diversity and inclusion were high within a company.
However, companies are struggling to make ‘better workplaces for everyone’ a reality. The great opportunity is that we all have an important part to play in creating a better workplace for everyone. Ensuring our colleague’s voices are heard and valued not only helps to attract and retain the best people, but also helps us deliver better solutions for our clients and identify risks and opportunities that we might not otherwise see.
What part does each of us can play?
In our recent book ‘Inclusive Leadership – the definitive guide to developing and executing an impactful diversity and inclusion strategy – locally and globally’ we look at how to engage everyone in creating the culture change many companies aspire to.
Take a moment to consider the following questions:
Who do I spend most time with?
If you think about an average workday or week – whom are you spending most of your time with? Human nature is such that we feel most comfortable with people who are like us and have similar backgrounds. Are you spending your time with people who make you feel comfortable or with people who challenge your thinking?
Who do I go to for advice?
Who are the three of four people you go to for advice and support on business issues? Are they from similar backgrounds or do they have different perspectives to you? What are the risks of gaining advice from similar sources time after time?
Who is in my wider decision making team?
Again, is there diverse experience and thinking across your team or do you all think in a similar way? Are you missing opportunities both for yourself and clients through accessing potentially narrow thinking? How could diverse views and inputs influence your final decisions?
By narrowing our view points and limiting the types of people around us whom we spend time with, ask for advice and make decisions with we are, by default, creating cultures that seem exclusive to others.
Creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces isn’t an end in itself, it’s a means to enabling companies to attract and retain the best talent, to benefit from increased productivity and to tap into new markets and client opportunities.
My challenge to you is this - how are you going to diversify the people you spend time with and what part are you going to play in building a better workplace for all?