Creating an Inclusive and Collaborative Corporate Culture: The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace.

Everyone knows the saying, It takes a village to raise a child. While that might be overstating it slightly, the phrase conveys an important point: kids do better when they are surrounded by people who are different from them in some way, whether it’s their culture, race, or gender identity. The same concept applies to corporations—they function better and reach new heights when they bring together people of diverse backgrounds and personalities to work together as a cohesive unit.

Defining Diversity
No one’s ever said that working together is easy—after all, people are different! From differing abilities to varying viewpoints, our differences make us stronger as a company when we understand each other and use our differences to add value. An inclusive corporate culture fosters trust among diverse employees who feel safe enough to bring their whole selves to work without fear of judgement or reprisal. How can you define diversity? What do you do to remove biases from your work environment? How does your company foster inclusion in its day-to-day operations? If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available on creating a more inclusive workplace.

Defining Inclusion
As we mentioned above, inclusion means more than just getting a seat at the table—it’s about making that seat one from which you can fully contribute to your team. To create a welcoming environment for all employees, take measures to ensure that your staff feels as though they belong by developing mechanisms that promote inclusion across functions and/or generations. For example, if your company has multiple teams working on a project together, it’s important to ensure that each team is made up of members who have diverse backgrounds and skillsets. Similarly, it’s crucial to make sure that everyone is included during meetings or other events where decisions are being made or information is being disseminated. This way, no one will feel left out or unable to offer input based on their background or experience level.

How Organizations Can Promote A Culture Of Collaboration and Inclusion
You don’t have to travel far to find stories about companies that promote diversity and inclusion among their employees, customers, or other stakeholders. According to these media reports, a diverse workforce often outperforms homogeneous groups in a variety of business arenas, including marketing campaigns, sales pitches, product development initiatives, talent retention strategies, and more. But creating a culture that supports diversity and inclusion requires an ongoing effort. It can be difficult for leaders who are trying to get a handle on day-to-day operations—and who may not feel qualified to lead such efforts—to know where to start. Here are some tips for getting started: 1. Conduct an audit of your current work environment to identify areas that need improvement when it comes to fostering collaboration and inclusion across your organization. Try holding one-on-one meetings with your staff members (of different ages, races, genders, etc.) and ask them questions like: How do you feel included at work? What could we do better as a company to help you feel more welcome? What would make you want to stay here longer? 2. Consider bringing together a cross-functional team from various departments within your organization to discuss how each department can contribute to promoting a culture of collaboration and inclusion within your workplace. 3. Think carefully about what you hope to achieve by creating an inclusive corporate culture and write down those goals so they’re easy to refer back to later on if needed. 4. Build out your action plan based on your goals and priorities, then follow through with concrete steps to create change. 5. Be prepared to accept that it will take time for people within your organization to adjust to changes in culture; consider offering training sessions or workshops focused on helping people learn new skills related to working collaboratively across functions, departments, cultures, generations, etc., as well as building empathy for others. 6. Reward individuals who go above and beyond to promote collaboration and inclusion. 7. Track progress toward achieving your goals over time using metrics specific to your organization’s needs. 8. Celebrate milestones along the way!

Types of Collaboration
There are two types of collaboration that occur within organizations – horizontal collaboration between individuals and teams, as well as vertical collaboration between different levels (such as departments) in an organization. Vertical or inter-departmental collaboration tends to be more prevalent because it requires less coordination; everyone is doing their part to achieve a common goal. Horizontal collaboration is a bit trickier since it requires consensus from multiple parties on similar issues, but it can also reap huge rewards for companies if used correctly.

Examples of Collaboration Across Cultures
Globalization is upon us, and workplace collaboration has become a necessity for companies that wish to remain competitive within their industry. In order to compete on a global scale, today’s companies must have a diverse workforce—one that includes both domestic workers as well as those from foreign countries. By learning how to collaborate across cultures, businesses can prepare themselves for long-term success.

Remote Teams – Ways to Improve Communication, Build Trust and Enhance Teamwork
Remote teams have become more common thanks to advances in communication technology. Team leaders can foster better communication between employees by using collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Spark, Atlassian Stride, Jive SBS Pulse and others. These tools are designed to make it easier for remote workers to share ideas across functions and locations. Some products even automatically integrate with video conferencing systems from Zoom or BlueJeans so remote meetings feel as if they’re taking place face-to-face.

3 Traits of Successful CEO’s

How do you know if you have what it takes to be a successful CEO? You’re going to have to show your employees that you’re committed to helping the company succeed in the long run, and you’ll need to know how to be transparent with them. This article provides 3 traits of successful CEO’s: transparency, long term vision, and empathy.

Why CEOs need to be transparent

A new type of leadership is emerging that sees transparency as a competitive advantage. While some CEOs worry about being vulnerable to competitors or concerned about their public image, there are many reasons why leaders should be transparent. Communicating honestly and openly helps build trust with employees and clients, which drives innovation. If you have nothing to hide then why hide it? Instead of fearing transparency, embrace it; your company will be stronger for it.

The importance of a long-term vision

Entrepreneurs tend to be focused on their product or service—and that’s a good thing. But it’s also important to think about your company’s long-term vision. The best entrepreneurs share two common traits: they have a strong mission and they make communication with their customers easy. When building a startup, it can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day issues. However, if you want to grow your business into something sustainable, you need to take a step back from time to time and look at where you want your business to go. Having a clear mission statement will help guide you through decision making down the road.

What are the best ways to empathize with employees?

A successful leader is not just aware of their own feelings but also makes an effort to understand those around them. A highly empathetic person can put themselves in someone else’s shoes easily. However, to be able to do that at work a person needs to build trust with their executives and their employees. In order for that trust to flourish they need to show vulnerability while keeping in mind how they will be perceived by others if they say something or ask for something. It’s important to realize that empathy isn’t about feeling sorry for people; it is about understanding what they are going through so you can help them improve their situation.

Conclusion

Being a successful CEO is an art form. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to managing other people. However, there are certain traits that separate good CEOs from bad ones. Today we’ve looked at three important ones: transparency, long term vision, and empathy. Are you a good CEO? If so, what sets you apart from others? What do you do to be a better leader? If not, how can you start building those traits into your leadership style?

To continue the discussion, book a call with me here: https://calendly.com/claude-blanc/chemistrycall

Building an Engaging Corporate Culture Starts with Clarifying Your Vision, Values and Mission

How important is it to clarify your vision, values and mission? If you’re struggling to answer that question, consider the fact that Harvard Business Review reports that corporate culture has more impact on revenue and profit than either strategy or structure (Daft, 2007). In other words, if you want to build an engaging corporate culture that drives business success, it’s critical to take the time to clarify your vision, values and mission so that your employees are clear about what your company stands for and how they can help the company achieve its goals.

The need for an engaging corporate culture

In today’s corporate landscape it is extremely important for leaders to create a clear vision for their company. A clear vision guides your employees in making daily decisions that are aligned with your overall goals. An engaging corporate culture can be created through transparent communication of your company’s vision and values at all levels. By doing so, you build a culture in which employees are engaged and motivated by their passion to make positive impacts on your business. Employees who feel valued and appreciated will be more likely to stay longer, work harder and produce better results. To start building an engaging corporate culture: Define your company’s vision, values and mission statement; clearly communicate these statements to every employee; ensure each employee knows how his or her role contributes to achieving these statements; hold regular meetings with employees where they can ask questions about what these statements mean; encourage open dialogue between management and staff members about how best to achieve stated goals; celebrate achievements regularly.

The importance of clarifying vision

When it comes to building a workplace culture, most leaders will tell you that vision is crucial. The problem is that most of us aren’t exactly sure what they mean by vision. That’s because we confuse vision with specific goals or objectives. A vision statement is not something that can be easily quantified. It’s more than just setting goals; it’s about defining your organization’s core values—what makes your company unique and worth investing in? What do you stand for? How do you want people to feel when they interact with your brand? Without these answers, how can you possibly build a strong corporate culture?

What are your shared vision, values and mission?

The most effective way to drive engagement is by creating a corporate culture that is emotionally intelligent. A great first step in developing such a culture is by articulating your vision, values and mission as clearly as possible. For example, if you want employees to be innovative, then make sure you define what innovative means for your organization. If you want employees to be passionate about their work, then make sure you articulate what it means for them to be passionate about their work. If you want employees to have fun at work (and who doesn’t?), then make sure they know how they can have fun at work—and hold them accountable for doing so!

How do we communicate the three things?

When you think about how you are going to communicate your vision, values and mission to your employees it is critical that you start thinking about one thing – Why? If we want employees who care about our company’s vision, values and mission then they have to be able to connect emotionally to them. That means they need to be able clearly understand why these things matter. Without understanding why these three things matter at a personal level we risk creating engagement challenges down line.

The importance of effective communication tools

Ineffective communication often comes down to ineffective technology. If your company is using convoluted software that doesn’t allow for real-time collaboration, it’s a major inhibitor to building stronger bonds in your organization. Start by communicating effectively internally (between employees) before tackling external communication (with clients). Remember: You can only have strong relationships outside of your organization if you have a strong culture inside of it. So don’t be afraid to spend time on internal communications first.

Tips on being emotionally intelligent as a leader

Emotionally intelligent leaders focus on managing their own emotions first before working on managing other people’s. This means making time for introspection, being cognizant of your feelings and reflecting on what you are feeling versus just reacting to whatever is thrown at you. It also means learning how to harness your natural emotions like empathy, confidence and passion so that you can use them as a strength when dealing with other people in professional settings.

The value of having emotional intelligence in everyone else in the company

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a widely used term in management today, but many people are still confused about what it means. In short, emotional intelligence is your ability to understand your own emotions and those of others. High EI allows you to read how others feel through their facial expressions or body language; it also gives you a deeper understanding of group dynamics. By being aware of such things as these, you can more easily build rapport with colleagues on any level of your company.

Strong Leadership Requires All Your Emotional Intelligence

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to lead well, but few people have studied the question as scientifically as Harvard psychology professor Daniel Goleman has.

Goleman fathered the theory of emotional intelligence, and in his research of more than 3,000 business executives he finds a clear correlation between leadership and emotional intelligence.

You can’t be a good leader if you are emotionally unintelligent. That doesn’t mean you must be a “nice” person; just that you must understand yourself and others. Demagogues can be effective, at least in the short term, because they understand how to manipulate people.

Emotional intelligence, if you recall, is how well you function emotionally with yourself (self-regulation and self-awareness) and with others (motivation, empathy and social skills). The theory broke new ground in its recognition that being smart is about more than doing well on tests.

This is a powerful insight for any size of company that has employees. Integrating this information can make you incredibly effective.

Golf clubs in your bag of tricks

I value Goleman’s theory of leadership because it recognizes that there are different, equally valid, styles of leadership within the same leader. The title of his Harvard Business Review article sums it up: “Leadership That Gets Results.” He focuses on what works.

These leadership styles Goleman likens to golf clubs in a bag that are useful for different terrain. Most leaders only have one or two styles. But you need more than that. When you try to use the wrong style for a situation that calls for something else, you miss the mark (or should we say, the hole).

Goleman’s six styles in a nutshell:

  1. Coercive – Do what I tell you
  2. Authoritative – Come with me
  3. Affiliative – People come first
  4. Democratic – What do you think?
  5. Pace-setting – Do as I do, now
  6. Coaching – Try this

What varies are the people with and the situations in which the styles are used. Knowing when to deploy them is key.

When negative is effective

It’s interesting that in Goleman’s research the authoritative style is the most effective, yet he considers that and “pace-setting” to be negative styles to be used sparingly. Relying on one style exclusively means that you will fail when that style is not helpful.

Crisis, for example, demands that someone make authoritative, often unilateral, decisions. That’s why boards will bring in “turnaround specialists” when a company is on the precipice. If you have too much of a democratic or affiliative style, you’ll flounder in a crisis. Recognize what kind of leadership is needed and work to provide it.

When you are lacking in a leadership style

Try to work on the underlying emotional intelligence so that you have more than one club in your bag. The affiliative and coaching styles emphasize empathy and relationship building. Without those, you will probably have high turnover in your organization.

You can work on those styles by communicating with your employees more about what matters to them. Ask questions and really listen. Look for ways to develop the potential in each person.

The best leaders know how to get both loyalty and high performance out of their teams.

Did any of these styles resonate with you? I’d love to talk to you about how you can lead your team to greatness.