I’ve read so many articles on Diversity and Inclusion and one thing that is for sure is that this subject is always changing and there is a need for new ideas. In order for a company or organization to be successful and remain successful, this is a topic that is always on their minds. You may hear it often that a company is about Diversity and Inclusion, but how up to date are their ideas? What is one of the drivers in Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace? How innovative is your company? How open are your leaders to change and growth?
There are two constant things in Diversity and Inclusion and that is “change” and “new ideas.” In an article posted by fastcompany.com and here is the link: https://www.fastcompany.com/3046358/millennials-have-a-different-definition-of-diversity-and-inclusion “Millennials view diversity as the blending of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives within a team, which is known as cognitive diversity. They also use the word to describe the combination of these unique traits to overcome challenges and achieve business goals. Millennials view cognitive diversity as a necessary element for innovation, and are 71% more likely to focus on teamwork.”
Everyone has somewhat of a different understanding of the topic. It covers ages, ethnicities, religions and different world views. Diversity and inclusion training should be a part of annual training for leadership and management. For example, the department has 120 employees with over 65% of the employees are from different countries around the world. There are three different generations in this department. The leader of this department is a 55 year old man who rarely listens to the opinion of a woman. He has turned down every idea and opinion of the women in his department, and only gives project leads to only the males in the department.
When the employees brought this matter to the leader’s attention, he believes that he is always fair to all and any of his employees. In many ways the scenario listed above resembles unconscious bias. This leader prefers to deal with males only. He believes men to be emotionless and women carry their hearts on their sleeves. Whatever an individual’s views are regarding dealing with others who they view to be different than them, it has no place in the workplace. In order for a company or organization to be successful in whatever their business is on a global scale, diversity and inclusion goes hand in hand. You have to be able to think outside of the box, and see difference as a welcome thing instead of a challenge.
CEO’s and executives have different views of diversity and inclusion, but one constant thing is that they all know that it has to be a part of the makeup of a company or organization, to be successful. In an article Drew McLellan the CEO of Agency Management Institute “Agencies have always brainstormed by pulling different people into the room: an art person, a media person, a finance person. Each person brings a unique perspective.
Similarly, companies should hire people of different races, genders, ages and sexual orientations not only because it ‘looks good’ but also to encourage a wide range of perspectives. With today’s ever-changing workplace landscape, that diversity of perspective is crucial for succeeding and staying ahead.” The article can be found at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/08/11/diversify-your-staff-for-deep-and-meaningful-results-for-your-clients/#3c075221197c
The following are a few suggestions of how to keep your companies Diversity and Inclusion program, up to date and to continue to push the organization to be successful.
Start with educating your organizations leaders. You leaders are face to face with your employees and should be able to lead by example. They would only be able to do that by keeping up with new trending topics in diversity and inclusion and even gender equality.
It is also suggested that you have a group or counsel to address issues with your company’s diversity and inclusion program. To ensure neutrality in the group include senior members of management and possibly leads in different departments. Executives and managers are on the front line with their employees however, leads are always interacting with others in the department and are always in the know. Gossip although it’s frowned upon, runs through a department or company quicker than you can type an email. Criteria in selecting participants of this group should include their passion and commitment to the cause.
Normally a focus group or councils should be involved in goal-setting and hiring and advancing a diverse workforce. How is the company or organization keeping up with their initiatives to enhance the diversity and inclusion and equality within their organization and within the company vendors or suppliers?
One of my favorite things to is celebrate what makes us different and that should be something that your company does as well. It’s time to celebrate what makes your employees different, is it their ethnic background? Or is it that there is a large concentration of women in the company. Parents in the organization it doesn’t matter if they are single or married, them being a parent should be celebrated. One that comes to mind is “bring your child to work day.” Have you considered a cultural celebration day? This could be set up in the break room where different types of foods brought in that celebrate some of the different cultures in your company.
Finally it is suggested that your company if not already listening to their employees, they should start. Innovation drives a company with new and fresh ideas, products that their customers and the general public would purchase. The goal is to continue to enhance the company’s presence in the global and local market. We spend more time with the people that we work with, than we do with our own families and friends. Why not get ideas from each other?
These are all suggestions to continue to enhance your company’s diversity and inclusion program. Continue to reinforce your company’s commitment to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture and workforce.
Team Building/Ice Breaker
I recently shared this idea with my boss for our next meeting. She thought it was a great idea. I hope you like it as well.
Time: 1 – 2 minutes
Number of Participants: Any
Tools Needed: None
Rules: This one is for those of you looking for a great indoor team building game that won’t take up much time. Before a meeting, have each individual walk around and share what they hope to contribute to the meeting with as many people as possible. If you want, offer a prize for the person who shares with the most people and another for the person who successfully contributes what they shared.
Objective: Improves meeting productivity and makes attendees think about how they’re going to contribute, rather than just what they hope to get out of the meeting.
You can find this one and other suggestions at: https://www.wrike.com/blog/team-building-games/
Cool Down Time:
As mindfulness continues to gain momentum in the workplace I was able to locate the following exercise at: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-exercises-techniques-activities/
Please note that there are only three steps in this exercise.
Step 1: step out of “automatic pilot” to bring awareness to what you doing, thinking, and sensing in this moment.
Try to pause and take a comfortable but dignified posture. Notice the thoughts that come up and acknowledge your feelings, but let them pass. Attune yourself to who you are and your current state.
Step 2: bring awareness to the breathing for six breaths or a minute.
The goal is to focus attention on one thing: your breath. Be aware of the movement of your body with each breath, of how your chest rises and falls, how your belly pushes in and out, and how your lungs expand and contract. Find the pattern of your breath and anchor yourself to the present with this awareness.
Step 3: expand awareness outward, first to the body then to the environment.
Allow the awareness to expand out to your body. Notice the sensations you are experiencing, like tightness, aches, or perhaps lightness in your face or shoulders. Keep in mind your body as a whole, as a complete vessel for your inner self.
If you wish, you can then expand your awareness even further to the environment around you. Bring your attention to what is in front of you. Notice the colors, shapes, patterns, and textures of the objects you can see. Be present in this moment, in your awareness of your surroundings.
“When you are ready to finish the exercise, allow your eyes to open slowly and try to carry that mindfulness with you as you go about your day”
About the Blogger:
My passion is development and learning. My blogs are about development, HR topics and things that I find interesting in the workplace. I’m currently seeking an opportunity to transition into development and training.