Many organizations are making great efforts to hire a more diverse group of talent, but end up flustered if they cannot also increase inclusion amongst employees. Hiring new staff is a major investment, so it behooves everyone if your team feels happy and most importantly…included. When colleagues don’t interact and collaborate, or each department stays on their own floor, the expanding diversity of your organization won’t lead to better or more profitable results.
In order to help your team bond and promote inclusion, there are three main components to take into account and build a strong team foundation.
This one is a given. The overall talent pool needs an appropriate representation of different dimensions. More diverse perspectives drive better results. You may have heard the phrase “a team is a salad, not a puree.” In a salad (or team), each ingredient (or team member) maintains its own identity and contributes something special that makes the salad more interesting and flavorful. A puree, on the other hand, forces every ingredient to mesh together, losing their identity and uniqueness. Make it clear that each person’s differences are a valuable advantage to the team and inspire them to express that whenever possible.
Secondly, create the environment for your team to mingle with one another. Implement plans and processes that have everyone working with each other, brainstorming ideas, and making decisions as a collective. In order to promote inclusivity, organizations are turning to monthly team-building events. This could be a breakfast on the 1st Friday of every month, or a catered lunch to celebrate the end of another sales push. The next goal you plan for your business will collapse if you don’t establish the practices that support your team in executing it. Set your team up for success by giving them the tools and expectations needed to deliver.
You’ll need to be persistent; building an inclusive team won’t happen instantly. Not even an intensive team-building workshop can give you immediate results. It may legitimately take months before your employees are working together like a fine-tuned locomotive. It’s a daily commitment to make the most of meetings, and assign tasks to different groups in an effort to bring everyone together.
Lastly, genuine bonding comes from trusting relationships built through empathy and casual interaction across different employee groups. At a fundamental level, inclusion means changing the overall mindset of your company and its employees. Encourage your employees to think and interact outside of what’s previously been familiar, or “normal,” to them in today’s business world. Essentially, remind them to start by walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and to remember the Golden Rule. In addition, it’s imperative to always keep communication open. In order for a team to be inclusive, they need to feel safe to voice important matters, challenges, and initiatives that impact your customers.
It’s up to the team leader to cultivate the inclusive culture and environment that supports your team and allows them to perform at their best. While it may take time, there’s no doubt they’ll appreciate a leader who celebrates their differences and what they can contribute. In the end, this will only mean positive results for your company’s bottom line.
If you’re a thoughtful and proactive employer or company leader looking to increase inclusion amongst your business team, join us at our premier event for coaching and diversity. On Oct. 3, 2019, we’ll be gathering industry thought leaders for one day at the 2nd Annual Symposium for Coaching in Diversity and Inclusion. This year’s theme is “Culture At Work” where we’ll hold a spotlight on the use of coaching as a toolkit for diversity and inclusion and discuss all aspects of building and fostering company culture. We hope to see you there! Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.
CoachDiversity Institute believes in the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Our Certified Diversity Coaches can help your leaders meet personal and professional goals with one-on-one coaching support. Contact us today to learn more.