This article was based on episode 187 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Get my guide 5 Easy Actions to Become a More Inclusive Leader when you become a member at themodernmanager.com/join.
One of the most important skills to becoming a rockstar manager in 2022 is creating an inclusive work culture. Employees who feel devalued or depreciated at work end up being less productive. Perrine Farque sees this impact on employees happen most often with an inexperienced younger manager or an older boss who resists getting up-to-date on inclusive terms. As a diversity and inclusion expert, Perrine empowers leaders to leverage diversity and inclusion as their competitive advantage. She joins us to explain the top ways we can change our diversity and inclusion work culture in 2022.
Begin with a Why Statement. When you introduce unconscious bias training, create context. Why do you believe DI is important to your workplace? Be clear on a desired outcome. What do you hope to see in the next twelve months? Set goals and offer real life examples.
1. CONSCIOUSLY FIGHT UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
Unconscious bias training is tricky because it’s all about things that we do or think without malicious intent or awareness. Lately, it’s become a controversial topic because something so complex as unconscious bias can’t be solved with just a one-off training. If you go this route, make sure it’s part of a long term program within your organization.
2. CREATE INCLUSIVE MESSAGING
Language and terminology is more important than ever. Pay attention to gender terms. For example, the term “women” is more respectful than “ladies'', and yet even “women” may be non-inclusive of gender non-binary individuals. Become aware of who uses nonbinary terms to reflect their identity.
Don’t allow for people to use ableist terms that are insensitive to people with physical or mental abilities. For example, coworkers might talk about their “psycho boss” without considering its effect on those with mental illness.
3. CULTIVATE CULTURAL AWARENESS
Generate a stronger understanding of the type of background and culture your team members come from. How does hierarchy, communication norms, and gender dynamics usually play out in their culture or country? (Note that culture refers to more than countries. We gain cultural cues from religion, geographic regions, and more.) Understanding these elements will give you an important lens into their world.
4. START SMALL!
If you don’t have the higher-ups on board with your DEI programming or you just don’t have a budget for it, don’t worry! Doing small, simple things can have tremendous effects. Begin with explaining to your team why you believe in diversity and inclusion. Create a slack channel/email chain devoted to sharing relevant articles/podcasts/books. Give your team the opportunity to share things they’ve been listening to and reading. By regularly sharing resources, you’re setting the tone and expectations for your team, as well as keeping it top of mind in the workplace. Remember that anyone can make a difference. The important thing is to get the ball rolling.
5. ADDRESS THE SKEPTICS
Not everyone understands the importance of diversity and inclusion. Changing dynamics can feel scary, especially for people who are used to being in the majority. Yet the research repeatedly indicates that more diverse teams produce more innovative thinking. This occurs across all roles, from HR to sales to tech. Diverse teams are also linked to better performance and they understand how to market to diverse audiences.
To help those who are slow to get on board, share research done by McKinsey and Harvard Business Review on the positive effects of diversity and inclusion. Share success stories from companies such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Nike, who have really invested in growing diverse teams.
If you’re speaking to a skeptical team member, it may help to ask them about their personal story of being excluded. Help them connect to the big idea of inclusion. You can also try to understand their concerns and provide support to help overcome their fears.
As managers, it is our responsibility to create a culture where inclusion and diversity thrive. By committing and regularly taking action to keep ourselves up-to-date on inclusive language and practices, we can help everyone feel welcomed and respected. Small steps can make dramatic changes in how your team shows up and performs this year.
KEEP UP WITH PERRINE
Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/perrinefarque/
Get my guide 5 Easy Actions to Become a More Inclusive Leader when you become a member of the Modern Manager community at themodernmanager.com/join.
This article was based on episode 186 of The Modern Manager podcast. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Modern Manager Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon, and Stitcher. Never miss a worksheet, episode or article: subscribe to Mamie’s newsletter.