Have you ever felt like an outsider? How about within your own organization? Almost everyone at one time or another has felt like they have been the outsider at a party or event, but what about at work?
Wow, that is certainly a difficult scenario to consider since our connection with the people we work alongside each day (even in a remote world) is a fundamental element for collaboration and support. But many of us experience these feelings daily. How do we get past them? How do we help prevent these experiences as leaders?
Gapology and Speed of Purpose provide some clear methods that can help leaders with intentionally creating environments where their team members are not just welcomed to participate and share their ideas, opinions, and questions, but are actually encouraged to do so as part of the foundational culture of the organization.
Here are some initial steps to consider. Firstly, ensure that you have defined a clear and compelling purpose for your organization or workgroup. And secondly, this purpose should then be wrapped around all elements of your business, which will tie people together under a singular cause. Make certain that this purpose is developed where it includes the contributions of everyone at all levels, so they connect deeply with it within their individual roles.
Once you have laid the foundation of a purpose-driven culture, identify any potential Gaps you may currently have, or even ones you may have in the future, with respect to creating an inclusive workplace culture. Then leverage the Root Solutions to proactively close them, starting with the tips below.
Close the Knowledge Gap
Training Root Solution: Develop training to connect the organizational purpose to every role
Teaching Root Solution: Build coaching and mentorship programs that are designed to encourage cross-functional partnerships and team building
Talent Root Solution: Leverage your A-Players to help lead cross-functional programs and activities
Close the Importance Gap
Expectations Root Solution: Establish expectations around participating in cross-functional activities and define methods of building team culture
Communication Root Solution: Ensure all team members are provided the vehicles and the time necessary to share thoughts, ask questions, and connect with the other people in the organization
Prioritization Root Solution: Keep things simple. Don’t overcomplicate your methods. Ensure that cross-functional activities are built into the organization's priorities and time is devoted to making them impactful
Close the Action Gap
Accountability Root Solution: Provide recognition to those who help to drive inclusiveness and partnership, as well as recognize those participating
Commitment Root Solution: Stay focused on driving overall engagement and recognition
Culture Root Solution: Ensure all areas of the organization or your departmental team are involved in programs and activities, even in small ways
It is critical that leaders are always looking at the culture of their organizations, even if they are just leading a small team or workgroup. The health of the culture dramatically impacts the engagement and performance of the team and ensures that you are creating a workplace that is open for participation and communication at all levels. Defining a clear and compelling purpose that is centered around an inclusive workplace is one of the first places to start.
*Listen to our Gapology Radio Podcast episode on this topic: https://www.gapology.org/podcast/episode/22e6686f/creating-an-inclusive-workplace-culture