The Gift of Inclusion
As the season of giving unfolds, there’s a unique gift we can all share – the gift of inclusion. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the profound impact that inclusivity has in our lives.
Inclusion isn’t just a corporate buzzword; it’s a heartfelt embrace of diversity, understanding and acceptance in every aspect of our lives. From our families to our workplaces, the spirit of inclusion has the power to transform and uplift.
In our last article of 2023, we wanted to explore the concept of inclusion as a gift – one that is priceless and deeply meaningful. Our team members have shared their personal “gifts” of inclusion, showcasing how these acts of understanding and acceptance brighten lives and strengthen our teams.
Join us as we unwrap these gifts, revealing the countless ways we can all contribute to a more inclusive world, not just during the holiday season, but all year round.
Building Inclusive Environments
The ability and confidence to change our minds, learn and grow, and acknowledge our mistakes.
Not only does this build trust and psychological safety, but will create a ripple effect in our culture where we are able to respond to new information with curiosity, humility, and openness.
Not only will this create a better environment for our colleagues, but also a more effective and efficient business, and service for our customers.
Own your impact, not just your intent.
Sometimes we might inadvertently offend others even though we have no intention of doing so. That’s an impact that can’t be undone for the receiver, so step into that and own it.
Listen to what it was that caused the offence. And reflect on what you could have done differently were you to relive the moment.
Always consider your colleagues religious and cultural beliefs so that you can share well wishes at appropriate times of the year.
For those responsible for recruitment, my gift of inclusion is to consider these three small behaviour changes to debias your recruitment process:
1. Anonymise CVs by removing names, addresses and contact details, company names and university names, so CVs are reviewed with risks of bias removed. This can be a huge administrative task so test this process in key roles first or look for suppliers who offer this as a service.
2. Pair up or work in teams for your recruitment activity – from sifting CVs through to interviewing. Don’t just rely on one opinion, working in a small team of 2-3 allows you to consider more than one view.
3. Look at where you advertise and how you attract candidates and challenge yourself to open the role up to a wider talent pool – commit to sharing the job detail to new audiences so you can attract a larger and more diverse talent pool, leading to candidates who you might not come across otherwise.
When people are being asked to do something at work, particularly if they’re being asked by their manager, those people often want to be seen as people who can “get it done” without any problems. They don’t want to be seen as needy, or like they need to be handheld, or like they’re a burden.
This often leads to a lack of willingness to ask for support where needed, or to request appropriate reasonable accommodations. By giving them the opportunity and space to speak about what they might need and actively inviting them to do so, managers can help their reports feel more at ease and perform at their best.
Additionally, if a manager can share what their own needs would be in that situation, it shows their reports that asking for those kinds of accommodations or additional support is normal and wanted. This creates a more equitable environment by removing barriers for everyone to participate at their best.
Whether you’re an employee, a manager or a CEO, you should always be on a journey of self-reflection and growth – a commitment to become a more inclusive leader. Make a promise to yourself to challenge your own behaviors, actions and inherent biases.
Inclusive leadership isn’t just about guiding a team; it’s about introspection, understanding one’s role and acknowledging personal responsibilities in creating an inclusive environment.
Use 2024 and beyond to focus diligently on your leadership approach.
This means actively identifying and addressing biases, constantly seeking diverse perspectives and fostering an environment where every team member feels valued and heard. It’s about leading by example and inspiring others to embrace inclusivity in all aspects of their professional lives.
If you’re ready to delve into the depths of inclusive leadership, to explore and grow together, please get in touch. Let’s make 2024 a year where we not only talk about inclusion but actively embody it in our leadership styles.
Inclusion, in its many forms, is more than just a seasonal gesture; it’s a commitment to making everyone feel valued, understood and connected. Each ‘gift’ shared by our team highlights a simple yet powerful truth:
When we choose to include, we open our hearts to the rich tapestry of human experiences and perspectives.
Carry the gift of inclusion beyond the festive season, integrating it into every facet of your life. Whether it’s in the loving embrace of friends and family or the collaborative spirit of our workplaces, every act of inclusion is a step towards a more compassionate and understanding world.
From all of us at Included, we wish you a holiday season filled with joy, love and inclusive moments that brighten every day.
For those of you who find this time of year difficult, we wish you moments of peace, rest and safety.
May the New Year bring you endless opportunities to share and cherish the gift of inclusion.