In short, an inclusive organisation is one that will flourish.
Something I find deeply disappointing is how many SLTs brush D&I aside saying “we haven’t got the time; we must focus on operations and commercial areas to achieve our strategic goals”. Not being able to see the strategic leverage of D&I is strategic myopia. D&I are organisation-wide experiences, organisations are emersed in them, whether actively engaging in them or not. Ignore them and people will notice. Why? Because stakeholders expect contemporary organizations to reflect people diversity and respond to the potential of a diverse workforce community. D&I are not optional and the legal framework that underpins Diversity and Equality essentially provides a floor upon which beyond practice can be nurtured and enhanced.
Key to the D&I relationship is that a diverse workforce does not mean an inclusive workforce. Equally, an inclusive workforce does not mean a diverse workforce. For organizations to benefit we need mutual inclusivity, a strong overlap between the two. Nor can we ignore equity which is much more likely to be experienced if inclusion is practiced and felt. Here is the crux of inclusion within the workplace – or anywhere else. You cannot tell someone that they are included, you cannot simply tell people what you have done to enable people to be included, inclusion is a feeling, it is linked to emotional responses that experience triggers. Inclusion and being inclusive have to be supported and underpinned by behaviours that encourage people to feel valued and recognised. Telling people that you are inclusive will simply raise expectations and needs. Violating those expectations will frustrate needs and lead to negative feelings and loss of engagement.
I will explore the emersion of DREAM into organisations.
- Data analytics
- Raising awareness and acceptance
- Encouraging and engaging others
- Aspiring to improve and challenge
- Merging, monitoring and embedding positive techniques