At the start of 2018, here are some thoughts about what’s new in the world of workplace inclusion – and what’s coming up.
1. MEND THE GAP – Following gender pay gap revelations this year, businesses will invest in proactive measures to address these kind of equality discrepancies. Success will depend on combining practical actions like HR policies, with empathy-building activitiesthat engage employees in the benefits of supporting an inclusive culture today. The social narrative around exclusive workplaces will move from “How can this be happening!?” to the pragmatic “Look, we’re fixing it”, to the competitive “Ha! We’ve got the lowest pay gap in our industry!”
2. INCLUSION AS PR – When businesses realise the benefits that a socially representative workplace brings to their external brand – not to mention wellbeing, employee motivation, attraction and retention of future-focused talent and innovation power, they will be shouting about their inclusive culture from the rooftops. A business culture that is lead by fostering diversity, of all kinds, will be no more the worthy nice-to-have, but the relevant need-to-have. A word of warning though – in these transparent times an inclusive workplace is impossible to fake, so work will need to be done to engage entire workforces on their individual roles in ensuring an inclusive culture. Because in 2018, the time for lip service to diversity is up, it’s everyone’s responsibility and there is no room for ‘spinclusion’.
3. THE PENNY WILL DROP – The days of needing proof that an inclusive, socially connected workplace is worth the investment will seem as outdated questioning the business value of the internet. There will be an understanding that for every £ invested in engaging employees in workplace diversity and inclusion, business will automatically invest a £ in brand, a £ in wellbeing, a £ in recruitment and ultimately a £ to stay relevant. The ROI is a prosperous place in the future.
4. EMPATHY IS THE NEW IQ – The high praise ‘S/he’s super intelligent’ will be superseded by ‘S/he’s connected to what’s really going on’ USP will stand for Unique Social Perspective. Forward looking businesses will seek people who can bring different outlooks, communities and experiences to the table. Putting yourself in the shoes of employees, customers, people on the other side of the world will be the highest-valued commodity in leaders.
5. AUTHENTICITY OVER AVERAGES – No more authenticity tax. Human diversity will be celebrated, not categorised or limited. Describing human diversity in businesses will move away from purely ensuring valuable variety in our physical characteristics, to how people with their infinitely varied experiences of life can solve challenges together. Being yourself, talking about your honest social outlooks and respecting the same of others is after all, the ultimate human technology.
Altogether Different specialises in building engagement in workplace diversity and inclusion amongst employees – bringing about tangible, practical action – and a passport to the future. Get in touch today www.altogether-different.com