Most diversity and inclusion programmes don’t work. While many companies have training programmes in place, most focus solely on unconscious bias or simply driving awareness. They don’t give people the practical tools to turn their unconscious bias into conscious action.
Culture is a combination of shared values AND shared behaviours. So if you’re trying to change culture, you can’t just update your values and expect things to change.
You have to change behaviours too, by giving people the practical tools to make small changes every day. And the results can be transformational.
On the latest episode of the Inclusion Works podcast, Fiona Young, Head of D&I Practice at Hive Learning walks us through four specific ways to create inclusion programmes that can start to change culture fast.
Here’s a preview of what Fiona had to say…
It’s important to start with data and to also kick off the conversation about what diversity and inclusion really means to people. Not just in a sort of once every two years engagement survey, but on a week to week basis.
How do people feel their voice is heard? How do people feel they’re accepted for who they are? How do people feel they can really be their whole self at work and bring their true self to work?
Those sorts of questions are really important to assess your starting point and also to set some goals for where you want to get to.
The second answer is really to give people the tools to be more inclusive in their day to day. This is everyone in your organisation.
Here are some examples of things that we focus on quite a lot at Hive Learning: One-to-one meetings, how are you running those? Are you running those every week at least? Are you having ongoing development conversations in those meetings so that you’re actively raising aspirations for people on your team?
For larger meetings, are you making sure everyone’s voice is heard? How do you facilitate those meetings so even those who are less experienced or who might be introverted get air time?
Can you tell us a little bit about best practices for organisations either getting started or trying to revamp their diversity programme. How can they effectively take the pulse of their organization to see where they’re at today and get that feedback that’s critical to move forward?
At Hive Learning we started by conducting a mini inclusion questionnaire, which was simply six questions which got at metrics of belonging, teamship and equality because ultimately for us at Hive Learning and our own values as a business, we thought these were the three most important things to us.
We asked everyone within our business six questions around those topics and got a baseline reading of ‘okay, how are people feeling’. Then the trick is to just continue asking on a weekly basis unobtrusive, slightly differently-worded questions that again get at belonging, teamship and equality. Those are what are really important factors to us.
You can use all sorts of tools for this. For instance we use Slack; there are loads of plugins to Slack which you can use to facilitate this. It’s just a regular course of business. These pulse surveys are fantastic to be able to see how people are feeling over time and how the data fluctuates as well over time. You can draw some interesting insights out of that too.
I think another thing that’s worth mentioning too is our programme Inclusion Works. We’ve actually built mini pulse checks into that learning program. Every couple of weeks we ask one to two unobtrusive questions which help to get at levels of inclusion and also the impact of the programme, so whether people are actually changing as a result of what they’ve learned there. I think it can be a quite powerful thing, but again I think it needs to be in the flow of work.
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