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Leaders have a crucial role in setting the tone for, and role-modelling, a culture of everyday inclusion

Benefits range from helping people feel comfortable coming forward to self-identify, suggest new ideas and openly share their experiences in the workplace, to empowering them to resolve issues informally.

Employees with inclusive managers are 1.3 times more likely to feel that their innovative potential is unlocked. Those who can bring their whole selves to work are 42% less likely to say they intend to leave their job within a year.

Leaders have the opportunity to effect positive change. Each seemingly small, everyday act of inclusion creates a ripple effect that can, over time, transform the culture of your team and company.38

Reflecting on inclusion in everyday activities

  • Who is included?
  • Who is not?
  • What can we do differently?

Examples of Managing Inclusively

If someone is interrupted:

  • Calmly interject: “Hold on Fred, Marie wasn’t quite finished”.
  • Implement and enforce a ‘no interruptions’ rule.

If an inappropriate comment or joke is made in a meeting:

  • Question the comment“What did you mean by that?” or “What are you basing that on?”
  • Share contrary evidence“I read a study the other day that showed that is not the case…”
  • Point to the equitable approach“We don’t evaluate people on personal characteristics”.
  • Call it out“That comment was offensive” or “That made me uncomfortable”.

You find that not everyone can make the regular team social event:

  • Change the monthly team social to a lunch so that it’s easier for individuals with caregiving responsibilities to join.

Not all team members express their views and opinions:

  • Make it safe to propose novel ideas, and try things in multiple ways.
  • Be open to receiving input in various ways (email, in person, etc.).
  • Credit team successes arising from suggestions received.

You encounter some resistance to DEI:

  • Share your own story of why DEI is important.
  • Create space for difficult conversations.

You want to help employees feel heard and trusted:

  • Empower team members to make decisions.
  • Take on advice and implement feedback received.

You want to create an environment of continuous improvement and learning:

  • Regularly give actionable feedback and encourage others to do the same.