Is inclusion the ‘missing link’?
- January 4, 2018
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Blog
The 3 essential things that you need to do today to get the most of your diverse talent.
Over the past decade, diversity has become a hot topic in business environments. Attracting and recruiting diverse talent is seen as a way to effectively drive the innovation that everyone is clambering for.
The focus on diversity is well warranted with the statistics and case studies speaking for themselves. No matter how set in old ways some leaders and organisations are, there is no arguing that diversity delivers better business results.
But is diversity enough to get the results that you are looking for? Is recruiting for difference the path that inevitably leads to better business outcomes? Does your responsibility stop with reaching your diversity targets?
The plethora of current research and case studies leads to one conclusion – diversity is only half the puzzle to creating better performing teams. Unfortunately, far too many leaders and organisations believe that ticking off diversity from their ‘to do’ lists will, in itself lead them to better business results and higher levels of productivity. Too many leaders and organisations recruit for difference only to expect conformity and for individuals to toe the line by doing things the way that they have always been done.
The fact of the matter is that without inclusive work practices and managers willing to not only tolerate differences, but really embrace the unique skills that different styles bring to an organisation, the benefits of diversity will only be superficial, at best.
Where diversity focuses on individual differences, inclusion embraces these differences and allows individuals to be themselves and feel comfortable in challenging the status quo in order to drive innovation. Inclusion provides the environment for people to feel safe in sharing their views and ideas without the fear of repercussions.
In order for managers and leaders to take the first step in becoming more inclusive the follow 3 actions need to be focused on:
- Embrace new ways of working
The old management style of command and control may have worked in the past. However, if managers are looking to improve productivity, engagement levels and ultimately profitability, then they must be also open to new ways of working.
Being flexible with where people work, when they work and allowing them the opportunity to expand and try new challenges, will empower people to do their best work.
- Get to know your team better
The beauty of diversity is that everyone is different. Not just in how they look and where they come from, but how they prefer to work, what motivates them, and what encouragement they need to produce their best.
By getting to know your team members and understanding what gets them up in the morning means that, as a manager, you will be able to get the very best out of them. There is no one-size-fits-all style of management when it comes to individuals.
- Understand your personal preferences
There is no way around it – we all have personal preferences that impact our decision making – every hour of every day. Becoming aware of yours, means that you can choose how to act on them.
As a manager, having the usual suspects on your team may sound like the easier option. But ask yourself whether the decisions that you make regarding the makeup of your team are the best ones for the organisation, not to mention your customers and clients.
Creating a more inclusive work environment does take a bit more effort – understanding your preferences, taking the time to get to know people better and trying new ways of working. There is a level of commitment that is required to truly embrace and leverage the unique qualities that individuals bring to any team. However, without this effort the potential that diversity promises will remain unlocked and the investment of time and effort that it takes to attract and retain diverse talent will remain unrewarded.
Learn more about becoming a more inclusive leader at www.in-clusion.com.au