Inclusion in the Workplace Must Be More Than Words

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3 ways to enable inclusion and increase productivity, nurture talents, and create new opportunities

This June, Fast Company featured Brad Smith, the CEO of Intuit on two lists. The first was for the “Best CEOs at large companies for female employees” and the second ranks the top tech CEOs for diversity. Brad celebrated with this tweet:

Here at TSheets, we’ve always shared the same values as Intuit, even before becoming part of this great organization. A culture of inclusion ranks high on our list as well. So here are three tactical yet easy things you can do today, to make your workplace more welcoming for all.

 

1. Lead by example

To lead is hard. To lead a culture of inclusion is even harder. But it is absolutely crucial. As a leader, your words matter a lot. So consider these factors before releasing your next communiqué.

Be transparent

Leaders are often privy to a lot of information first. Either share with all or don’t share at all. When TSheets was acquired by Intuit Inc., our co-founder Matt Rissell shared the news with the entire company the moment it was legally permissible. He chose to do so because it’s what makes TSheets the best place to work in Idaho and now part of the best places to work in America.

Don’t use jargon or colloquialism

Sure, common acronyms like EOD and HR can be a time saver, but organization-specific ones like FFT or ODR can create an immediate barrier between those who are in-the-know and those who aren’t. Save the acronyms for catchphrases or make it the exception rather than the norm. Similarly, using outdated sayings with questionable origins can be misunderstood despite the best intentions. We prefer to not include any examples on this page.

 

2. Avoid tokenism

Merriam Webster defines the term as “the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort (as to desegregate).” This is where diversity is mistaken for inclusion and vice versa. In terms of the workplace, diversity is about representation. Inclusion is the invisible force working behind the scene to encourage participation and nurture relationships. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers defines the two as so: Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.

 

3. Look beyond the norm

Learn more about celebrating women in tech.

To the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, representation and fairness in the workplace revolve around gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. In a study by Deloitte and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (BJKLI), it is found that millennials view diversity and inclusion in terms of talents, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

For millennials, inclusion at the workplace means supporting a collaborative environment where differences in opinion should be encouraged and used to make the best decisions. Recently, the entire marketing team at TSheets took the Style of Influence (SOI) training, the convergence of personal, relational, and organizational life dynamics. The goal of the SOI is to discuss different influencing approaches and use them to do our best work every day.

Successful inclusion is grounded in accepting and welcoming differences. Data has repeatedly indicated that we all just want to feel we belong, we’re heard, and we’re valued, whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or in society as a whole. So make inclusion your choice today and always.

 


Did you know? August 27 is Women’s Equality Day

Tune in as our very own Jessica Greene speaks to three TSheetsPROs to learn about their experiences in the world of entrepreneurship and technology.