“Diversity” and “inclusion” are often thought to be the same thing, but they’re actually different concepts. Diversity advocate Verna Myers explains the difference between the two terms well: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” An organization can easily hire employees with different backgrounds, but making sure these employees feel included can be more difficult. In “Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion,” Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid explain four ways to increase inclusion in your organization.
- Start with leadership. Leaders can practice six behaviors to make employees feel more included: encouraging them to speak up, creating a safe environment for them to suggest new ideas, empowering them to make decisions, taking advice, giving feedback, and sharing credit with the team for successes.
- Let people be themselves. Studies show that some employees feel like they need to conform to company norms or standards. Make sure that your team doesn’t feel the need to sacrifice their authenticity.
- Encourage sponsorship. Senior-level leaders can advocate for an employee in order to help them advance. The sponsorship process can positively impact ambition and engagement.
- Help with career paths. Women, LGBT individuals, and people of color often feel like they don’t have a clear map to career success. Work to identify barriers and come up with options and programs to help your employees find their path.