How to Keep Momentum for Inclusion – a Case Study

Keep momentum for inclusion

By Inge Woudstra

We are all striving to be more inclusive, but how to keep momentum for inclusion? That’s a question many of our clients have, too. Most have undertaken awareness raising campaigns and have several Employee Resource Groups. These are great initiatives to start the conversation.

But starting the conversation is not enough.  You need to keep it going and spread it outwards.  Inclusive behaviour is something everyone needs to embrace; only then will inclusion benefit more people!

Contrary to what we might believe, human beings aren’t naturally inclusive. We tend to gravitate towards people like us. It’s easier to understand someone who is similar, and it’s easier to interpret their actions. So being inclusive requires continuous effort and maintenance. Everyone needs to be reminded of it regularly.  Here, I share with you how one company is doing just that.

How to Keep Momentum for Inclusion – a Telco Case Study

A client in Telco approached us with the following issue around momentum:

We are moving our headquarters, and as a result we expect significant staff turnover. However, we have just raised awareness around inclusion and are now keen to protect and enhance that inclusive culture throughout the change. It’s especially important as inclusion is strategic to us; it’s part of our Employee Value Proposition.  

Can you build a digital solution that we can use for on boarding new staff? It needs to create awareness of inclusion, be about 30 minutes, interactive and memorable.

What We Did

We spent time understanding what had already been communicated about Diversity and Inclusion. Then we interviewed a range of staff to gather real life examples of inclusion (or lack thereof) in the workplace.

Based on these, we designed 10 short videos. In each video, we presented individual inclusive behaviours in a fun, memorable way. The, using work-specific examples, the videos showed 2 options: one option of what a scenario might be like currently, the other how to improve. They also included opportunities for reflection and simple follow up actions.

How It’s Helping our Client to Keep Momentum for Inclusion

Our client introduced the modules organically, as part of a wider induction programme, reaching 40% of staff, with very positive feedback on the videos alone. Later, the company introduced posters showing completion rates per department. They also had senior leaders talking about what they learned, and required those on leadership programmes to watch the videos as preparation.

Three years on, the material is still in play, starting conversations about inclusion on many different levels. The company is now looking at ways to use the videos in team meetings. It’s also looking to support team leaders in talking about inclusive behaviours with the teams.

Gathering momentum around one specific topic like this allowed the company to maintain levels of engagement and to continue to progress towards greater inclusion and diversity.

How You Can Keep Momentum for Inclusion

If you find yourself looking for ways to keep momentum for inclusion and raise awareness, consider the following:

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have we linked inclusion to the strategic objectives of this organisation?
  2. Does every staff member know what is expected?
  3. Is inclusion part of our day-to-day expectations of staff, just like health and safety and data protection?

If not, you will struggle to realise the benefits of diversity – and that is, ultimately, the aim of inclusion.

If you find enthusiasm in your organisation is starting to wane, why not talk to us about rekindling it?

You can reach out to book one of our complementary Ask Me Anything sessions (individual 30-minute D&I mentoring).   If you think we can help, do get in touch.

 

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