Once again, it’s that time of year! About half of us are already thinking about our New Year’s resolutions as December 31st approaches. As we want to better ourselves and the world around us, here is a resolution that aims to do both: be more inclusive.
The start of a new year may be an opportunity for many of us to set resolutions and make a pledge to ourselves to do things differently in order to improve our lives. Personally, I like to make changes when the mood strikes me rather than when the calendar dictates. However, if you are a believer in new year’s resolutions, here are some recommendations to help you make positive and important changes to your organisation in the next year.
- Prioritise your employee wellbeing
In recent years, employee wellbeing has become a top priority for many organisations and whilst this is the progress we like to see, there is still a long way to go. Investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity. However, wellbeing initiatives often fall short of their promise due to their isolation from day-to-day business. To get true value, an organisation’s employee wellbeing initiatives must be incorporated across its culture, leadership, and people management.
- Invest in your relationships
Start the new year by putting in the time and effort to form meaningful relationships with your colleagues and expanding your professional network. Diversifying your pool of influence when it comes to decisions and ideas you make at work is paramount in ensuring innovation is never in short supply. If people view meaningful relationships as opportunities for mutual growth, then they would provide the proper circumstances/opportunities for this to happen.
- Get flexible
As we are slowly but surely emerging from the pandemic, some of us are already adapted to a remote way of working. Working from home has been truly beneficial for parents, people who commute and people with a range of health issues. However, flexibility isn’t just about offering the opportunity to work remotely but giving flexibility over where, when and the hours people work. Flexible working has demonstrated direct and indirect benefits to organisations; research shows that it produces higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to a higher standard of performance.
- Be aware of language
Whether it’s your job advertisements or the way you check up on your colleagues, try to be more conscious of the biases in your speech. For most of us, language is a tool of communication, but it is also a means of expression, and expression is subjective and often exclusive. Using inclusive language creates a sense of belonging at work as it acknowledges diversity and conveys the message of respect and understanding.
- Education is the passport to the future
Individuals’ and organisations’ training requirements will vary widely. However, emotional intelligence is a great place to begin (EQ). You can always increase your mastery of this ability, and doing so will have a positive impact on many different aspects of your organisation’s success. Improved emotional intelligence (EQ) is an excellent starting point for creating a truly inclusive workplace.
There are some who feel that diversity alone is the most important aim, one that can be measured in terms of employee demographics. Others argue that this viewpoint neglects to address the equally critical issue of inclusivity. While inclusion is a distinct notion, it, too, needs a similar strategic framework to flourish. It is possible to achieve diversity while remaining exclusive. In order for everyone at work to feel valued, they need a set of actions, systems, and behaviours that are related yet separate. For instance, when employees are included on two basic levels, they are more likely to be engaged. Employees need to think that they are essential to management, and they need to believe that their thoughts and ideas are genuinely taken into consideration.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King