One of the key trends that leaders can observe in 2022 is that “Diversity & inclusion will be a major competitive differentiator”, as published in our HR 2022 Outlook report. We can all agree that the working world is changing, in terms of social developments, emerging technologies, employee behaviors, and more.
A diverse and inclusive workplace allows everyone to bring interesting ideas to the table, so we can be more aware of blind spots. With that said, how should leaders tap on these potentials and make the best out of their people? This is where inclusivity matters.
Here are 5 tips to kickstart your journey to becoming a more inclusive leader:
1. Give a voice to everyone on your team
Nurture psychological safety for your employees to post questions, contribute ideas, share concerns, work challenges and learn from mistakes. This will enable the team to be creative, innovative and collaborative especially when overcoming challenges of the business landscape during times of crisis.
2. Ask questions and be curious about others' experiences
Demonstrate an open mindset and listen without judgement when employees share about their experiences, challenges, mistakes, etc. It is not easy for an individual to open up, so give them your full attention and a good pair of listening ears. Be mindful that some topics may be sensitive and employees may not feel comfortable in disclosing their experiences. In such cases, consider conducting a pulse or engagement survey that protects employees’ confidentiality. A solution like EngageRocket’s BELONG is tailored especially with such cases in mind, so employees can feel safe in expressing their points of view.
3. Take accountability
The uncomfortable reality that many leaders face is that they are expected to call out bias, admit to mistakes and be truthful when they do not have all the answers that employees are looking for. Great leaders are those that can be consistent in how they engage team members, come rain or shine. Providing regular updates, making sure resources are readily available and being prepared to make key decisions for the team are some of the good leadership habits to nurture at work.
4. Be flexible
There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to leadership. Inclusive leaders empower their team members to achieve their highest potential, and that means understanding their unique needs, mindsets and well-being in a way that allows them to thrive at work.
5. All for the team
Inclusive leaders are all about the team spirit, building trust and lots of collaboration, riding onto each other’s ideas. A healthy team enjoys benefits that go far beyond the company's bottom line. This is why it’s important to nurture diversity and inclusivity within the team from Day 1. It is also important to be mindful of certain individual actions that may be detrimental to the spirit of inclusivity. Problem areas need to be addressed early so they don’t snowball and affect the team’s and organisation’s culture in the long run.
Inclusive leaders always encourage better interactions between teams, leading to a more productive work environment, fulfilling greater employee engagement. By adopting some of the above tips, you may begin to unlock the power of inclusive leadership.
We believe high performing company culture is the smooth blend of empowered teams, who trust each other and innovate their way through challenges in order to deliver good results. These companies are often driven by leaders who inspire, empower and motivate people to do their best work while creating more leaders along the way.
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