In a world that increasingly understands the economic and social benefits of employing a diverse workforce, as well as the problems that come with failing to embrace diversity, we believe it’s never been more important to train your line managers to be Inclusive Leaders.
The words diversity & inclusion seem to go together like apple pie & custard or Tom & Jerry. We’re concerned that too many practitioners are combining the words without truly appreciating what’s behind each term and how to ensure they are leveraged for a positive outcome on organisational performance.
For us, diversity is all about difference. An organisation’s diversity will be dependent on how much diverse talent has been attracted to the business. This not only covers the legally protected characteristics such as people with differences like gender, race, faith, disabilities, marital status, sexual orientation and age but also other, perhaps less obvious, differences such as thinking and processing styles, life experiences and social background.
An organisation that employs people with many differences in all these factors will be more representative of the end users of their products and services, have a broader world view and be able to bring different perspectives into the organisation. Managers that recruit new team members just like themselves – same gender, race, faith etc are restricting themselves from the wider talent pool and unlikely to attract the best available people.
Inclusion is all about belonging. Having the structures, culture and mindset within the organisation to enable each person to feel they belong – feel valued, can fit-in, can show up as their true self, not having to hide parts of their character, and all of this enables them to be able to fully contribute to the organisation.
Research shows that organisations with inclusive leaders benefit in many ways such as improving productivity and performance, greater employee loyalty and retention, promoting creativity and innovation, better teamwork and improving service to customers.
Most organisations have set out a public commitment for a more diverse workforce, whether this is from understanding the benefits that come with improved diversity and inclusion or whether it is from one of the various government, industry or regionally led initiatives to drive improved diversity.
Publicly stating targets and commitments, perhaps making some key senior appointments to show diversity at the top and sharing the message that diversity and inclusion is good for the organisation is a great start … but what comes next?
We believe that line managers – leaders at all levels through the organisation with responsibility for managing people – need to be equipped with the knowledge and resources to have an impact on the diversity of their team and lead an inclusive team.
We have developed a highly practical and engaging one-day inclusive leadership workshop that can be run in-house with groups of your line managers, with follow-up support, to leave your line managers feeling knowledgeable and resourceful about what they can personally do to contribute towards the overall organisational vision.
Each of our Inclusive Leadership workshops cover:
- The mindset and skills of an inclusive leader, overcoming any personal fears
- Appreciating the benefits of diversity and inclusion when applied directly to their own team
- Setting realistic and achievable diversity targets for their own team
- Managing team members working remotely, flexibly or with adjustments, accounting for individual differences, strengths and preferences
- Reducing conflict, passive and unhelpful behaviours and microaggressions.
Our workshops are designed to go far beyond unconscious bias training to provide practical tools to embed learning and lead to action in the workplace. We bespoke the workshops to incorporate your organisational vision and values, so they are directly applicable to the attendees.
Our content is delivered and facilitated in an engaging, informative way using leading brain-friendly training methodology with a focus on supporting and sustaining change following the workshop.
As gender diversity specialists, we use gender diversity as the main reference point for the workshops whilst introducing a broader spectrum of differences and intersectionality through the workshop.
Attendees leave the workshop with a clear vision of themselves as an inclusive leader, improve their self-awareness, feel resourceful and banish fears. They will take away new daily habits to welcome diversity, improve engagement and increase performance through developing an inclusive team.
Talk to us about how we can deliver Inclusive Leadership workshops to your line managers as part of your organisation’s commitment to improving its diversity and becoming an inclusive employer.