Many leaders struggle with creating an inclusive environment for their employees. While some believe this phrase inclusion is a passing fad, others understand how much more successful a company can be if its employees feel like they belong and they feel like they are included in the organization’s culture. Like with most things in leadership, organizational change starts at the top. If you want your organization to be one that is inclusive for all employees, you must be proactive to make that change happen.
Why You Need To Create An Inclusive Organization
So let’s think of some of the challenges that come up when you don’t have that inclusive environment as an organization. First, you won’t get the best out of your employees. As a leader, you want employees that help you make your organization great. But when an employee doesn’t feel that they belong, they may just come to work and do only what is required of them. Think about all of that talent that is being wasted because your employees don’t feel like they are appreciated. Most likely they will stick around only long enough for them to find work somewhere else.
Second, if an employee doesn’t feel included, they won’t feel like they have ownership and they will contribute accordingly. Think about something as simple as the words ‘we’ or ‘me’. How many times have you heard your employees describe your company as the company I work for, or where I work? What if instead, you heard phrases like my company or our company? This may seem very subtle but when your employees feel like they are a part of the organization, it can make a significant difference in their mindset and their productivity. They will feel like they have some ownership in decisions, processes, and the health of the business. This is the type of environment you want to create as a leader where every employee feels that they belong and that their contributions matter.
The Impact Of Having An Inclusive Organization
We know that when employees feel included they’re going to give you more. When they don’t feel included, they may feel slighted, unappreciated, and may feel that the company doesn’t want their talents. According to research from A Great Place To Work, when employees trust that they, and their colleagues, will be treated fairly regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or age, they are:
- 8 times more likely to look forward to going to work
- 3 times more likely to have pride in their work
- 4 times more likely to want to stay a long time at their company
This is what any leader wants – employees who not only look forward to working at your company but also are looking to stay and grow with your company. We hear a lot about people jumping ship and leaving an organization. Think about all of that knowledge that they take with them and how much it costs to bring somebody else in to do their job. Why wouldn’t you, as a leader, focus on ways to keep your employees happy and retain them in your company?
Inclusion in the workplace is extremely important. It’s up to you as a leader to make sure that happens in your organization. Being proactive and creating the culture and policies to encourage inclusion is necessary so that you are not just being reactive to problems that arise among your workforce. Creating a culture of inclusion can improve your recruiting, retention, and also the productivity of your employees. When you create an inclusive culture, you will put yourself above your competitors and have a better understanding of what your employees can achieve. When an employee feels safe and appreciated they will produce at a higher level for your organization.