Top 4 ways to improve levels of inclusion in the Canadian workplace
When delivering training events on the subject of inclusion, the definition I use is: The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
When an organization fails to achieve satisfactory levels of inclusion productivity falls, engagement declines, attrition rates rise and absenteeism increases. So what initiatives can be undertaken to improve inclusion in 2012?
1. Face the facts
Few employers in Canada genuinely reflect their customer or client base in terms of age, disability, ethnicity, gender expression and gender identity, physical/mental abilities, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Does your employer appear on the link below?
2. Use SMART objectives
Put together a plan to improve inclusion which can be expressed in terms of:
An example in terms of inclusion could be: Based on the next employer survey due to be completed in September 2012, at least two-thirds of the respondents state they feel either (A) very highly included in the work environment or (B) highly included in the work environment.
3. Learning and Development
Make inclusion a central theme of learning & development for senior management, junior management, supervisors, team leaders and interviewers. In our experience organizations that employ internal coaches or mentors typically have minimal concerns over inclusion. A recent training event we designed for VPs focused on building trust, expanding their circles of influence, ensuring equal opportunity for growth and demonstrating a commitment to inclusion.
4. Communicate at all levels
Surveys only really work if a sizeable majority of the workforce completes them, and therefore incentives may be needed to achieve this goal. Face-to-face interviews work for some people who will be prepared to discuss sensitive areas in private that they may feel uncomfortable talking about in a group setting. Meetings allow a wide range of people to contribute if run effectively, whilst suggestion boxes with tick-box questions allow confidentiality to be maintained.
[ Article by Timothy Holden ]
Timothy Holden is the founder of Toronto Training and HR Inc. www.torontotrainingandhr.ca