Leaders can cause organizations to either flourish or perish. The responsibility to build safe and inclusive culture lies with the leadership. Employees who feel respected, heard, and valued are much happier, productive, and engaged; an inclusive leader ensures that it’s true for every employee in the company.

What is inclusive leadership?

Inclusive leadership is defined as a leadership style that fosters equal respect, voice, involvement, and belonging for employees – an environment that celebrates individual values, ideas, and unique perspectives for collective harmony and business growth. Inclusive leaders care about the well-being, development, and empowerment of all employees equally without discrimination or bias.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

Diversity provides everyone equal and fair access to employment opportunities irrespective of their backgrounds. It means implementing systems that eliminate bias against gender, age, color, race, nationality, and religion.

Inclusion goes beyond merely employing a diverse workforce. It means engaging employees with distinct ethnicities, experiences, beliefs, and behaviors in the decision-making process. And give them an equal voice, space, and spotlight similar to others. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are keys to inclusive leadership in a workplace.

Promote Inclusive Leadership in the Workplace

Leaders can lean into inclusive leadership by incorporating subtle behaviors in their style that reflect their commitment to inclusion and diversity.

Below are 6 traits of inclusive leaders:

  1. Feedback

Consistent and timely feedback works wonder for employee motivation, productivity, and engagement. Inclusive leaders give meaningful and useful feedback to their employees on a regular basis. Do not wait for a mid-term or annual review exercises to share feedback; rather do it on a weekly or monthly basis.

Similarly, inclusive leaders seek employee feedback on their management style, company policies, and culture. They take employee opinions as a means of improvement rather than a personal attack.

  1. Communication

Inclusive leaders know each of their employees by name and strive to build a personal connection. Indulge in open and two-way communication to promote transparency, trust, and comfort. Reach out to employees hailing from different backgrounds to make them feel safe, welcomed, and part of a team.

  1. Hiring process

The talent acquisition process at inclusive workplaces treats all applicants with equal respect and honor. No one is given preference over others on basis of personal qualities, gender, color, language, religious beliefs, etc. The hiring and assessment process is transparent and unbiased.

  1. Create opportunities

Inclusive leaders have a brilliant quality to spot employees’ special talents and skills. Create opportunities and avenues for team members to prosper and explore their growth potential. For example, if an employee has an extraordinary passion for data analysis, recommend them for specialized training or a high-value project.

  1. Recognize your bias

Bias is human nature and leaders are no exception. But, inclusive leaders are keen to remain self-aware and identify their biased qualities. They critically reflect on their decisions, remarks, choices, and judgments and alter their behaviors.

  1. Don’t overlook the small stuff

Inclusion in the workplace is all about embracing diversity. It’s usually the small stuff and tiny incidents that can make a huge difference in the culture. Providing a foot-rest to an expectant mother or a post-vacation welcome back note to employees are tiny but great gestures that make employees feel like they matter.

Final Thoughts

Inclusive leaders who leverage the strength of their diverse employees are likely to succeed and thrive more rapidly than their competitors. Inclusion at the workplace increases employee performance, and engagement, promotes well-being, and fosters a culture of trust and belonging for all.

How can métier help you?

Learn to lead like an inclusive leader through métier’s exclusive leadership training. The program will equip you with practical tricks and techniques to incorporate into your leadership style right away. Contact us at info@metierme.net to speak to one