Values and Leadership Newsletter
Food for Thought |June 2020
“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
It is not surprising that diversity is an essential element in the workplace. In order to reach all people, you must hear from a variety of voices, each bringing something valuable to the table. “Diversity strengthens and shapes our efforts” (The Salvation Army, Canada & Bermuda, Position Statement on Human Diversity).
While the importance of having a diverse workforce has become evident, it is becoming increasingly clear that efforts to support a diverse workforce are lacking. Creating an inclusive environment at work goes beyond ensuring all minority groups are represented. There must a shift in the culture, in the foundation of the organization.
All around us we can see beautiful examples of our differences and that’s a good thing. Inclusion at work means all staff feel valued for what they bring to the organization, regardless of any differences. There is much to be learned from one another, if we would take the time to listen.
In the News
It is critical that employers ensure that their efforts to support equality in the workplace involve more than changes to a policy. Their efforts must foster long-term change that ensures equal opportunities for all people.
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace goes beyond recruitment and hiring. Efforts must be made at the foundation of the organization. Systemic change involves all facets of operations.
While fear can hold anyone back, leaders are encouraged to do the work to create an inclusive work environment. Listen, educate yourself, and lean in to the uncomfortable. “Show courage not just in what you ask but in how you listen.”
In the last few weeks we have seen leaders and organizations committing to implementing actionable steps towards greater equity in the workplace. While these efforts are important, it is critical to ensure they are sustainable long term and don’t fizzle out.
To create lasting change, you must be aware of what is getting in the way. Consider how your processes support different voices, how your team comes to conclusions, and where data should inform experience. Creating change also means breaking negative habits.
From our shelves …
In her book, Human (Kind), Eiland invites readers to change the way they interact with others everyday. In response to the hate we see in the world, Eiland emphasizes the importance of kindness and how when practiced, it can lead to the positive changes we need to see in the world.
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture at work does not end simply because your workforce is diverse. There must also be a shift in the culture that creates an inclusive environment for all people. Unfortunately, some challenges are more subtle than others. In their book Subtle Acts of Exclusion, Jana and Baran aim to identify these subtle acts and offer practical ways for fostering real change.
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