First-of-its-kind app transforms training, putting inclusion at employees’ fingertips
Have you ever gotten the ‘nice enough but clueless’ look from someone on your team when you talk about diversity and inclusion? They have good intentions, but they don’t necessarily have the knowledge or the tools needed.
Here’s the deal. We want good intentions to be enough, but they’re not. At the end of the day, if someone on your team has done something to make someone feel excluded, wanting to be a good person doesn’t change the way they feel.
Sure, you can, and should, send people through training, but it can’t stop there. How people treat each other in a meeting, grabbing lunch, working on a project - is what determines whether people feel like they belong.
Let’s move away from thinking about diversity and inclusion as something that we address in training to making inclusion a daily habit. Here are four ways to do that:
1) Create psychological safety
My daughter was born with a form of dwarfism. I’d never met, let alone interacted with a Little Person before her birth. So, when we went to our first Little People of America conference, I was worried that I was going to say or do the wrong thing. My husband and I spent the first day walking around on eggshells. Similar to employees who work with someone different than them. Very careful, not very inclusive.
Then a man welcomed us, shared that we looked like we felt out of place, and asked if he could answer any questions we might have however outlandish they might seem. He did the number one thing we need to do to make inclusion an everyday habit; he created psychological safety. If you want people to really be inclusive every day, you need to let them get beyond being polite and give them the tools for not knowing and making mistakes. If you create emotional safety, you’ll move past being polite and start to build real belonging.
2) Make the benefit of being inclusive personal
As leaders, we can rattle off all kinds of data and statistics about the business case for diversity. But your people don’t care. Behavior change is hard and, like any change management effort, folks won’t make a change until they viscerally understand what’s in it for them. As a leader, you need to make the benefit of being inclusive personal. Tie being inclusive of how they win in their careers. Make sure folks understand that people who can get along, get ahead. That if you can bring out the best in yourself, and the people around you it’s a recipe for career and leadership success.
3) The power of questions
Nyle DiMarco, a deaf actor, posted a video of a sign language interpreter signing “Get Me Bodied” by Beyoncé on his Twitter feed. Someone commented that posting the video without sounds was a crime. Nyle asked how he was supposed to know considering he’s deaf. He put the commenter in his shoes with his response. This is a great example of the power of questions in driving everyday inclusion. Questions engage our curiosity. They powerfully and quickly allow us to consider a different experience and perspective. Let’s teach people in our organizations the power of questions to drive everyday inclusion.
4) Meet people where they are - literally.
Think about how many times you’ve checked your phone today. On average, adults in the U.S. check their phones 52 times a day. We are addicted to technology. Moxie decided to leverage that tech addiction for good and created an inclusion app to meet people in a space and activity they’re already doing. Think about the daily routines and habits of your people and build inclusion into those routines. Do they enter through a certain door, have to log their hours, check a portal? Those are all opportunities to remind them of inclusion and share an inclusion tip or tools.
I’d love to hear more about what y’all are doing to drive everyday inclusion! Check out themoxieexchange.com for more.