Our topic for today is Back to the Basics - Respect and Inclusion in the Workplace. As you know, our workforces are becoming more multi-generational and multicultural now more than ever. It's important that we have the tools that we need on the job to succeed in ensuring that we have an inclusive culture and that everyone feels truly accepted and respected in the workplace.
For today's topic, we are going to focus on the ARC of diversity.
A - Acceptance, R - respect and C -connectedness.
First, we're going to focus on acceptance. In order to create an environment of inclusion, it's important that we make sure that everyone feels truly accepted and not merely tolerated in the workplace. Employees who feel accepted into the group earlier on feel more engaged and feel less sense of belonging in the workplace.
They are also more enthusiastic about their position. The key to acceptance is willingness - willingness to see other individuals just as important and as unique as you are. It's important to know that you can promote acceptance by keeping the lines of communication open.
“Listen without judgment and listen to understand.”
The R in the ARC of diversity stands for respect. When respect is given it communicates that he or she is valued and important. Promoting respect also increases productivity and can enhance creativity in the workplace.
The C in the ARC of diversity stands for connectedness. When we foster respect we can foster connectedness as well making sure that we build greater, cohesive teams.
When people feel connected, they work together better as a more cohesive team as well. Creating a connected workplace helps keep all employees engaged. Take the time to get to know your co-workers and peers and make sure that they feel valued and important.
I would like to offer one of my favorite quotes by Verna Myers. “Diversity is like being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Diversity is based on representation and is quantitative. Inclusion is based on engagements of the individual by the organization and is qualitative. Inclusion is that one component, like the “secret sauce” that can truly move your organization’s diversity forward.
It's important to know that inclusion starts with “I”. Regardless of your title, tenure, or level within the position, it’s going to take everyone working together to bring about change.
“Because in the end, none of us are better than any of us.”
If we are to work together effectively, we must learn to understand and appreciate all differences. our strength lies within our diversity. Inclusion does not just happen. we have to be intentional in our efforts on a daily basis.
In closing, we must be intentional in our efforts to ensure that everyone feels accepted respected and connected in the workplace. Unless you make a conscious effort to be inclusive, then exclusion may occur by default. Every now and again, YOU may have to check in with YOU to see how you are doing.
Am I making sure that everyone feels valued, important, and that they belong here?
Being mindful of our own actions can perceive others sense of belongingness in the workplace.
“And remember no one is perfect that's why pencils have erasers.”
See the full video of this discussion below