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Create an inclusive environment, showing concern for success and well-being

Individual fulfillment is often a joint effort. People derive tremendous joy from being part of a winning team. The best managers facilitate esprit de corps and interdependence.

And employees respond to managers who are concerned about winning, and winning well (in a way that supports their well-being).


Take some of the following actions to promote inclusivity in the workplace:

1) Have leadership undergo training in unconscious bias and active listening.

2) Form an inclusion council that plays an active role in goal-setting, hiring and retaining your workforce.

3) Create spaces within your office that highlight your diversity. For example, you can have a mother’s room for new mothers to breastfeed in private or you can install a prayer room for your employees to have the privacy to practice their religions.

4) Create employee resource groups (ERGs) that give employees safe spaces to get together and talk about common interests. For example, you can have LGBTQ+ groups, groups for new parents, groups for women in sales. These groups give employees the chance to get together and share what they are going through in a safe, non-judgmental way. These groups can also be excellent teachers to the rest of the employees, where they can host company-wide talks on topics that are important to them.


For starters, creating an inclusive environment requires everyone actively work to understand and alter the unconscious bias that instinctively emerges into stereotypes and attitudes toward other groups of people. To effectively reduce bias, people need to constantly learn and question their beliefs and actions toward people who may have different backgrounds, experiences and personalities from their own. When people are aware of their own biases, they are able to better distinguish between what is true and what is tainted by bias.


Another component of inclusion is utilizing inclusive language. What do we mean by that? Instead of greeting a group of mixed-gender people with the phrase “hey guys,” say “hey team” or “good morning, folks” as a way to be more gender neutral and inclusive. Get to know your colleagues’ preferred gender pronouns by including your personal pronouns in email, instant messaging and social media profiles. Doing so will not only open up a conversation with people who may not understand the importance of inclusive language, but more importantly, it will help people feel included.


Make an effort to recognize when someone is not being included. This is really quite simple, and merely requires people to pay attention to those around them. Back in 2016, women in the White House banned together and adopted a meeting strategy called “amplification,” where if one woman stated an idea or important point, another woman would repeat the same point and give credit to the original woman. Anyone can do this regardless of gender, and in doing so, you’re helping bring underrepresented voices to the table.

Above everything, inclusion is being kind and considerate⁠ — it’s going out of your way to invite a new person to the lunch table; it’s asking people about their day-to-day, their personal life, their future aspirations and past experiences; it’s making connections through your similarities and learning from your differences. With a little effort, your community, culture and workforce will reap the benefits of building an inclusive workplace — but it will take everyone’s support and conscious effort to do so.

All Hands In
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