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July 2009 – Simma's Tips for Total Workplace Inclusion

By February 2, 2016 No Comments

Do Your Employees Know There’s Been a Culture Change?
A senior leader from a Fortune 500 company contacted me to ask for my help. They had developed a diversity and inclusion/culture change initiative that they thought would increase employee engagement, and help discover and utilize the talents and skills of individual employees.

There was one problem. While senior leadership was excited about their initiative, the employees didn’t seem to be behaving any different. There was tension, and backbiting amongst different groups, and there didn’t appear to be any improvement in individual and organizational performance.

After investigation, we found that the diversity and inclusion / culture change initiative never made it past the second management level down. Employees didn’t know that anyone was working to create a more inclusive culture where they could do their best work together and continued to be disconnected and stay in their own silos. The culture change was like an elevator stuck between floors, and going nowhere.

Does this situation sound familiar? If this is prevalent in your organization or you want to prevent this from happening, click here to read on.
Seven Steps to Promote Diversity and Inclusion / Culture Change

Review the desired outcomes of the culture change initiative and the strategy that was developed to achieve those outcomes.
Determine whether there was understanding and buy-in from the next level of management or if managers nodded yes as a matter of course.
Review your original strategy to determine whether it included a process for communicating the change in culture to the whole organization. If not, you need to develop a process that will drive the initiative to every level from senior management on down. Seek out and identify key influencers who can help champion the culture change.
Set up a system of accountability to ensure that each level understands the cultural change process, and that they have imparted this information to their employees.
Use this system to make everyone aware of expected behaviors during the culture change process that will ensure success in achieving desired outcomes.
Create and implement a marketing plan that appeals to the rational self-interest of managers and employees. People will buy-in, participate and volunteer their skills and talents when they know there is something in it for them. An inclusive culture means that everyone can feel included and help your organization be more productive and profitable.
Actively engage managers and employees in discussions about the initiative. Get their feedback, ask them about positive results and listen to ideas for improvement. Communicate and celebrate small successes. Apprise everyone of progress so they know you are serious, not just giving them “feel good platitudes,” and that they are benefiting.

Sustaining an inclusive and diverse workplace requires the recruitment and retention of diverse employees and learning how to communicate across generations within your organization.

If you want more information about how to develop and implement an inclusion/culture change strategy you can read Simma’s article.

If you want your organization to be more inclusive and increase your profit call Simma today at 510-527-0700.

Simma LiebermanAbout Simma…

Simma helps organizations create more profitable cultures and improve individual and organizational performance. She is a consultant, speaker, and trainer. Simma is the co-author of Putting Diversity to Work (Crisp Publications, 2003), a guide for managers on leading a diverse workforce. Simma is often called “The Inclusionist” because of her ability to improve communication amongst people who are different.

Contact Simma to help your employees work better together and ensure your organization’s success…
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