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How is your company’s climate for inclusion? This article outlines what it takes to move beyond the policies and create an employee-driven, inclusive business climate.
Meaningful and measurable inclusion often requires a fundamental shift in an organization. It requires changing the way people interact with each other at work so that traditional stereotypes can be debunked.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are common terms these days. Your organization probably has practices around the topic and some may even have been in place for a while.
Things like targeted recruiting and mentoring programs attract people to your organization and help to hire a more diverse group of employees.
But those practices don't guarantee that the employees actually experience inclusion and will stay with the organization.
Organizational climate refers to the shared meaning employees attach to the events, policies, practices, and procedures they experience and what that communicates to them about the behaviors they see as being rewarded, valued, supported, and expected within the organization.
It’s imperative to have people who support the formation of inclusive climates. This can include things like reward systems, training content, and the factors that are emphasized in selection and promotion decisions.
Additionally, when people can start interacting in more authentic ways, it can lead to an environment in which social category memberships, like gender or race, ethnicity, or disability status, are no longer predictive of how successful you can be within an organization or how integrated somebody feels within the organizational context.
It's also important to keep both direct and indirect communication from up above about the importance of inclusion within the organization.
The day-to-day behavior of managers also plays a very important role in forming climate.
Managers communicate to their employees what's important based on the kinds of behaviors that they model, the kinds of behaviors that they reward in their employees, and the expectations they communicate.
Another thing that helps to shape climate is the set of behavioral norms employees create within their work group. This is what they actually do and what they expect of each other.
Inclusive climates provide the conditions under which people rely less on stereotypical thinking, and groups are less prone in-group/out-group dynamics that can get in the way of that diversity value chain.
Need help finding answers? Sia Partners can help you assess your culture, provide recommendations, a roadmap to a future state, and help to execute on the plan. For more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.