Five reasons you should embrace inclusive leadership in 2022


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    What is inclusive leadership?

    Inclusive leaders are individuals who are aware of their own biases and actively seek out and consider different perspectives to inform their decision-making. Inclusive leadership encourages employees from all backgrounds, genders, races or ethnicities, ages, and other characteristics to contribute their unique skills and perspectives without fear of judgment. 

    The benefits of inclusive leadership are manifold. We think you will agree it's a skill worth developing this year. 

    1. It Supports the Bottom Line

    A study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies with more racial and ethnic diversity reported 19% higher total returns to shareholders than companies with less diversity. McKinsey has found that companies with diverse leadership 

    Inclusive leadership allows a diverse workforce to flourish. Leaders must listen and provide a welcoming environment for a diversity of perspectives and opinions to be welcomed. This will result in better products and services. 

    2. It Encourages Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is critical for the success of any organisation. When employees are engaged, they are more productive. Their input for the various management processes is valuable, and they are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

    Inclusive leadership practices create an environment where employees have equitable speaking time and feel safe and valued. They know that their opinions will be heard and considered, encouraging them to stay engaged in their work.

    Another benefit of engaged employees at their workplace is that they are more likely to recommend the company to their friends and family. With this, you increase word-of-mouth marketing.

    Satisfied and engaged employees also complete their assigned tasks more efficiently. In return, you will get happy clients who recommend your company to their friends as well. You will be sure to improve your productivity and growth.

    3. It Attracts New Talent and Retains Them

    Inclusive leadership is one of the keys to attracting and retaining top talent. Talented employees want an organization where they feel their contributions will be valued and appreciated. When you empower these people, they are more likely to stay with the organisation as opposed to moving to another company and this helps reduce staff turnover in the long run and help to keep motivated and loyal employees.

    A diverse, inclusive workforce is a better indicator of success because it has more skills, knowledge, and perspectives. It is also an excellent way to bring fresh ideas into your organization that could take the company in new directions.

    These top talents are crucial for any business looking to grow and succeed in 2022. The challenge is how you attract them in the first place. Diverse and inclusive workplaces lead to more motivation and innovation, vital for attracting these new talents to your company.

    They will be more likely to work with you if they know that their psychological safety matters.

    An inclusive business is more likely to attract top talent because it promotes an equal opportunity for success. It helps the business grow faster and achieve its goals sooner. It also provides you with access to fresh ideas, which can help your company grow and expand to new markets.

    New initiatives such as EqualTime helps teams stay accountable with fair speaking time, kind treatment and is a first step in the right direction to inclusivity.

    Inclusive leadership fosters an open communication, essential for any organization looking to grow and succeed in 2022. For a business to be successful, employees need to trust one another and feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Leaders must also be aware of their personal biases and how they might unintentionally exclude others.

    4. It Reduces Harassment and Discrimination

    Preventing harassment and discrimination is one of the main goals of inclusive leadership. When employees feel safe and included, they are less likely to engage in these harmful behaviors, and if they witness them, they are more likely to report them to company leaders. 

    Harassment can take many forms, including unwanted physical contact like touching or hugging; verbal abuse such as name-calling and insults; racial slurs directed at people of color; sexual advances from a supervisor or co-worker; and social exclusion.

    Discrimination can also manifest in many different ways, such as refusing to hire someone because of their background, religion, or gender identity. It also entails denying someone a promotion because of their race or ethnicity or making fun of someone because they are different.

    Inclusive leadership creates an environment where employees feel safe to speak up if they are uncomfortable, and there are appropriate channels to report issues. Employees are more likely to report incidents when they know their concerns will be taken seriously by management.

    5. Inclusive Leadership Improves Teamwork and Collaboration

    When leaders listen to concerns and have a humble attitude to address their own biases, this has a trickle down effect of helping teams to listen to one another. Lead by example. Your teams will start collaborating better and supporting differences rather than shutting them down.  

    You can facilitate this by visibly addressing your own unconscious bias, and learning more about different cultures, genders, and races and groups of people who are different from you. 

    In Summary

    Inclusive leadership promotes diversity, healthy conflict, employee engagement, and better business outcomes. Leaders who strengthen their inclusion skills will improve their company's ability to withstand turbulent times, and thrive in any environment. 

    Remember to always include your employees and be available to listen to concerns. Their input is vital to your company's future. Help all employees feel that they have a voice and are heard, and they will return the favour tenfold with motivation, productivity, and loyalty.

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