As we navigate past the pandemic, companies are facing the effects of the “great resignation.” Diversity and inclusion are no longer a nice to have, but an essential part of a company to thrive and grow. Research has proven over time that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices contribute to organizational success, such as 70% more likely than their peers to capture new markets or 25% more financial returns above the national industry mean for companies that are top quartile for gender diverse executive teams.
The entire organization benefits from inclusive leadership – leadership that creates a sense of belonging, respect, and value. When people feel like they belong and have a sense of psychological safety, great things happen with engagement, creativity, productivity, and profitability.
So how do you develop your mindset to become more inclusive?
- Visualize the benefits. Focus on the potential growth in your workplace, workforce, and marketplace.
- Respect. This does not mean you need to agree or share the same perspectives as others, but you should respect them. Just as you want others to respect your perspectives.
- Be genuine. A sincere and genuine question goes a long way when developing trust and creating a safe space.
- Listen to your employees. You can gain an overall understanding of DEI within your company from your employees.
- Respond with appreciation. Respect your employees if they chose not to engage in your questions.
- Create self-awareness. Often this is easier said than done; it is not the annual sexual harassment or unconscious bias training. Self-awareness takes time and commitment. Read up on topics, watch videos, and most importantly connect with others who have successfully implemented DEI practices.
- Lead by example. Talk about your own experiences and perspectives.
- Be open to making mistakes. Invite feedback, allow yourself to be uncomfortable and admit to mistakes.
- Pause & reflect. It’s ok if you don’t have the answer. Step back and reflect upon what is working well and what is not.
- Be adaptable. Change is inevitable, embrace it and lean on others to bring alternative solutions.
Remember, things may not go according to plan immediately, successful DEI practices take time and commitment. Today, take the first step towards success and confide in a colleague who has the same curiosity to make a difference and passion to drive company success.
If you need help getting started with implementing DEI practices or have questions, let’s have a conversation to see how IMEC can help.