Driving performance through inclusion
Inclusion is a CEO priority
In 2017, Deloitte reported that over two-thirds (69 percent) of executives rate diversity and inclusion an important issue (up from 59 percent in 2014) and Thirty-eight percent of executives report that the primary sponsor of the company’s diversity efforts is the CEO, but why?
Inclusion is essential for team performance
From a purely business perspective, research demonstrates that inclusive teams perform better. They make better, faster decisions with fewer meetings (Forbes), they are more innovative, engaged and creative in their work (Deloitte) and they produce better financial results (Bain & Co.). Furthermore, companies with inclusive practices generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee than their competitors (Deloitte).
Business psychologist and organisation development consultant
One of the most common reasons I’m asked to help alter an organisational culture is that it no longer supports the business strategy, which ultimately impacts on the success of the company. Here are some key actions you can take to ensure everything your employees do supports your goals.
1) Engage your employees
To be robust and effective corporate strategy needs to be developed in conjunction with employees from across the organisation (as well as a strategy expert who will take the external environment into consideration). Carrying out consultation sessions with groups of employees including peers and departmental teams can be invaluable in creating a strategy which takes into account the existing organisation. In addition, when you involve influential employees in this process they become much more engaged with the strategy and are more likely to act on it and persuade others to do the same.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast (Peter Drucker)
One of the most common challenges I’m asked to help with is translating corporate values into employee behaviours. Often values are created and communicated, maybe even measured via employee surveys but somehow they don’t create a change in employee behaviours. So how can you make a difference?
1. Link values to business strategy
The ultimate desired outcome of culture change will be to make the organisation more successful in whichever way it most values. This can include improving the bottom line, expanding to new markets, becoming more efficient at delivering services and being more influential and effective as a non-profit organisation. Whatever this outcome looks like the values need to describe what employees can do to achieve that. However it’s surprising how often values simply describe whatever the people creating them think sounds like a good place to work. This type of values tends not to gain influence within the business.
1) Have a clear strategy
When you are a leader it’s your job to engage others to move in a specific direction. If this direction is not clear to you it certainly won’t be for them. So if you’re to have any success leading people you need to have a good strategy which includes;
• Make it simple and clear
• Link it to the success of the business
• Explain why it is important
• Involve representatives from all parts of the business in its creation
• Communicate continuously to all groups of employees