By | Anju Rakesh
Managing D&I strategies has been a key priority for leaders across the world, especially during Covid times. Complying to this principle, we see several high growth companies investing in the pursuit of D&I. Despite all this investment, we still have only a few frontrunners who excel in this race. Why?
D&I effort is usually seen and established from an employer’s perspective, of course, for the benefit of employees. But how does the D&I impact manifest at the workplace? Is belongingness as an employee experience a true marker of successful D&I initiatives? Many questions to which we seek answers can be sought if we are to look at them from the employee perspective. It is often the senior leaders who are at the forefront of a company’s journey towards D&I goals. What’s the employees’ role in it? What would ‘I’ (as an employee) like ‘them’ (the organisation) to do for me to be the quality driven, at the same time goal-oriented, and belonged employee they are striving to achieve? Here goes the list.
A LinkedIn survey reports a whopping 59% of respondents feel belonged at work for the recognition of their accomplishments. Acknowledgement is the key here. A sincere effort or a job-well-done going unnoticed by an employer could go fatally wrong. An ‘organic disruptive model’, if we could phrase it, has been one of the major impediments affecting D&I framework adapted by companies. This is particularly the root-cause of employee dis-engagement and subsequently, collapse in business revenues. On the other hand, making space for a minute of appreciation for the accomplishment could take the commitment level of the individual to a new high, belongingness riding the course.
The art of conversing is a cakewalk for many, especially those who are at the managerial levels. Oftentimes we find memes depicting the same and hilariously, no one knows how they master it! What happens at some of the unfortunate workplaces is that a leader’s voice is often considered standard or is accepted as the ideal standpoint. This approach is nothing but a barrier for innovative ideas to flow in and majorly, a barrier for inclusion! What is often forgotten is that fostering a D&I compliant workplace begins with a simple step of people engagement. Gartner reports that organizations with sustainable D&I initiatives demonstrate a 20% increase in inclusion. Afterall, the ultimate agenda is nothing but enchanting workplaces and improving productivity and revenue.
The belongingness survey by LinkedIn spots 39% of respondents feeling belonged, being assigned with tasks deemed critical for the company. From the perspective of an employee, the most damaging process or culture in a workplace would be being micromanaged. A common question often contemplated, “Why am I on the team if they don’t believe in me?” is a result of the acts of an employer who does not trust the potential of the employees. Lacking trust in employees simply conveys lack in respect towards them. Alternatively, providing them with the benefit of transparency and trust will reveal better employee experience and better outcomes. Usually, it would not take long for them to choose the next stride and move on. Some may stick on for various reasons but again, is this a positive marker of D&I impact, is food for thought.
Ascertaining Psychological Safety:
As key career aspirations of today’s workforce, the perks and salary package face stiff competition from the happiness and satisfaction an employee experiences at work. As per a research report by Harvard Business Review, people are more productive, motivated, engaged, and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their fullest potential, when the feeling of belongingness is strong. Experts have time and again proven the importance of psychological aspects in maintaining a strong and success-driven workplace. It is nothing but a simple act of humane approach, in creating a harmonious and sustainable workplace.
Afterall, it is only basic social science that we need to apply here. For inclusive workplaces to thrive, going back to the fundamentals of human behaviour and expectation is key. Encourage the mind to believe in the fundamental human need to belong, knocking aside hierarchical culture and biases.
We welcome you to come, be part of many more such pertinent discussions on belongingness and beyond at the largest D & I conference in the country – Best of the Best (BOB) Conference 2020. Want to know more, visit us, here: https://www.avtarinc.com/events/eventsdetails/bob2020