Next Steps – Building an Inclusive Work Culture

Drafting a policy that prohibits harassment in the workplace and training your team on this topic is a good start, but simply stating you won’t tolerate discriminatory or sexual harassment is not enough to affect real change. You need to go beyond protected classifications and a list of what NOT to do if you want to truly improve how it feels to work at your place of business. Instead, shift the conversation towards a more proactive strategy to create what you DO want.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that your organization’s culture is supportive of respect, dignity, transparency and trust. The more you can tie your internal codes of conduct and professional expectations to the agreed-upon company mission, vision and values, the more cohesive and effective your message and results will be. Leadership’s role is to guide the conversations that ultimately determine this focus. There is no shortage of positive, desirable qualities and attributes, so the hard part is keeping it simple. Zero in on the 3-5 values that are essential to who your organization is and WHY it exists. Once your purpose is clear, the values and behaviors that support this purpose will become evident. Remember – keep it simple. If done well, these values will become the touchstone that guides everything the company does; from decision-making to marketing strategies to employee relations. They should be woven into the culture so seamlessly that every team member, regardless of tenure or background, buys in.

Here are some resources to get you started down this path:

ARTICLES on MICROAGGRESSIONS – The little things that can add up to BIG things over time.

BOOKS on CREATING A DYNAMIC WORK CULTURE

  • Driving to Perfection by Brian Fielkow
  • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
  • The Culture Blueprint by Robert Richman
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins

DISCUSSION PROMPTS to HELP DISCOVER AREAS FOR GROWTH

  • What makes you proud to work at this company?
  • How does the organization support your professional development and career growth?
  • Is risk-taking encouraged, and what happens when people fail?
  • What role do company values play in hiring and performance reviews?
  • What’s one thing you would change about the company if you could?