It’s National Inclusion Week and a lot of usually quiet figures are stepping up to bang the drum for diversity. But what about next week? Will it still be on trend? The hashtag may lose traction after Friday, but the need for increasing inclusivity will never fade into the background. Ditch the tokenism and take it seriously by embedding Wellbeing, Engagement & Inclusion into your business framework forever.

The picture of a thriving workplace has changed. In modern society, it goes far beyond hitting targets and reaching objectives. It’s urgent that our organisations reflect the wider world, prioritising diversity, inclusion and engagement. And this isn’t a matter of ticking boxes. Businesses need to live and breathe their values in order to be financially, holistically and culturally successful. Forget about political correctness for the sake of diversity – start enacting social change with mindful intention.

The Society of Diversity has found the following trends have permeated the 2021 space for inclusion in the workplace:

  1. Adoption of diversity as a business model
  2. Prioritising a multigenerational workforce
  3. Encouragement of gender identity and expression policies
  4. Supporting minorities
  5. Elimination of unconscious bias

As the data suggests, inclusion centres around culture. Forget about hiring one person to meet your D&I initiative – breaking the mould and reshaping organisational structure will ensure that policies, procedures and people are streamlined to look progressively and inclusively forward. Principles and values must permeate every corner and facet of your organisation, and for Engage Leadership, the process is threefold:

#1 Researching, digging into and developing an understanding of personal mindsets and impacts.

Bringing awareness around impacts of upbringing and life experiences and our perception of others expands our knowledge and seeks diverse interactions.

#2 Recognising and acknowledging difference.

Moving from recognition to acknowledgement is fundamental: facilitate uncomfortable conversations, promote self-expression and safety, and celebrate the difference of others.

#3 Proactively challenging discrimination.

Implement systems to tackle all forms of discrimination. All employees must be aware of systems and behaviours, and action must be taken when required.

By securing a commitment to continuously creating and sustaining a working culture of inclusivity and positivity, diversity moves from fad to formula. Under the jurisdiction of equality, businesses integrate six key domains of inclusion:

  • Organisational citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Fair treatment
  • Psychological safety
  • Belonging
  • Authenticity

Diversity goes further than a smooth-talking post on LinkedIn – it’s easy to follow hollow trends. Culture always matters, but let’s make it happen. Our leaders must be trained as role models, employees must be guided by values, and policies must reflect principles.

Support yourself on the journey to inclusion, forever and not just for today, with our Wellbeing, Engagement & Inclusion programme.

 

Robyn Marsh: Senior Communications Executive at The TCM Group