Recent studies and surveys point to several attributes that describe what working in an inclusive work environment feels like:
- Being treated with Respect
- Having a Voice
- Feeling Valued
- Being connected to a purpose
- Having Trusted Leaders
- Sharing open and honest dialogue
- Having an opportunity to learn and grow
If you take a close look at the above attributes you will notice that they are similar to those found in an engaging work environment.
Studies show that leaders play a huge role in fostering an engaging and inclusive work environment. Per GALLUP, 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores can be attributed to managers/leaders. The good news is that there is a ton of research and data that describe what leaders need to do to improve engagement and inclusion. Build trust, create purpose, empower employees, be open and honest, develop people and rewards results.
If companies are serious about improving engagement and inclusion in their workplace, it’s time to consider a different approach to developing their leaders because as Einstein reminds us, doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Real change, or what I call transformation, will require a new set of leadership behaviors. Leaders need to build trust, make fair and equitable decisions, facilitate open and honest dialogue and implement actions that make their employees feel respected and valued.
Logical next steps for companies who want to improve workplace engagement and inclusion is to provide their leaders with new skills and tools to facilitate these new behaviors and to reinforce the new behaviors through periodic coaching and accountability.
Do your leaders exhibit the type of behaviors needed to foster an engaging and inclusive work environment? If not . . . “What ‘cha gonna do?” Because if nothing changes, nothing changes.