CEOs, owners, general managers, and literally every other job title struggle with the same question – how do we motivate our employees? What makes them tick? Clearly, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions here. When your employees feel connected and engaged, their work performance improves, they miss fewer work days, employee turnover rates decrease, and they accomplish their objectives.
Chances are, you’re doing a lot of things right by them; incentive programs, 401K, bonuses. Regardless, it seems like something is still missing. Perhaps inclusion is the missing link. Many companies are focusing on inclusion – yet they are still struggling. The Kaleidoscope Group’s CEO, Doug Harris, breaks down where companies go wrong on their path to inclusion.
- Many corporations employ a top-down, mandated approach to learning more about their employees. Unfortunately, this isn’t the correct approach. Getting to know people is an individual touch and go situation. Having care and concern for people around you and understanding what’s necessary for others to perform at their best ensures a deeper connection.
- Companies create general strategies but they don’t put enough ownership on individuals behaving on a daily basis in a way that values differences, embraces differences, and empowers people to bring their best to the table.
- Department heads generally employ strategies and enact policies using their own perceptual filter. They force employees into giving them what the ‘higher-ups’ want as opposed to giving what the employee needs. We often observe examples of this through the design of team-building exercises or employee incentives.
- Having an understanding of how to bring the best out of each other signifies that inclusion is at work. Companies make a mistake thinking that they can mandate this as opposed to creating individual accountability and creating individual value.
Inclusion at Work
Prioritizing inclusion involves much more than focusing on building a team of individuals with different appearances. The process requires enacting policies and encouraging behaviors that allow employees to be themselves. Inclusive work environments encourage employees to speak up about their thoughts that they may not have been willing to share in organizations.
Ultimately, this enhanced communication fosters synergy among employees and galvanizes your team. A team of employees that engage in their work functions with passion and dedication always outperforms a group of individuals who show up to work to point fingers and collect a paycheck.
Finally, the pursuit of inclusion is a noble one. Also, given that we’re all unique, there is no clearly defined path to inclusion – this is the very basis for the concept after all. You may not get it right the first time…or the first 15 times! However, once you finally get it right – it will all be worth it.