Are you an inclusive leader?
If I consider a workplace today in Australia, it is likely to have an engagement score of about 60%. That means about 40% of the employees are planning to move on as soon as they find something better. Of course, while they are seeking their next assignment, they are not bringing initiative and ideas into your workplace. This is hardly a workplace culture that is likely to add to the company’s financial success, or be a great place to work.
Does this worry you? If not, it should.
When you replace an employee, it costs, on average, 150% of their annual salary. When company engagement is low, it is invariably tied to a feeling of exclusion. That is, employees feel that they don’t fit, they don’t feel valued, and they don’t feel like a part of the team.
Inclusion can be defined by a feeling of ‘belongingness’, together with a feeling of ‘uniqueness’.
So what does this mean in terms of leadership? How does a leader develop a culture of inclusion?
Inclusive leaders create an environment where each person feels connected to the organisation, its values and other employees.
Inclusive leaders allow each employee to thrive. Firstly, they support freedom for each employee to grow their skills by taking on new challenges. Secondly, each employee is respected by the leader and others in the organisation, whatever their role. Thirdly, they have the opportunity to make mistakes without fear of reprisal. Finally, each employee is confident that they are an important and integral part of the organisational team.
As a leader, you might believe that this is the environment that you provide for your people, but without the metrics on engagement and measures of inclusion, you can’t be certain that you are, in fact, an ‘inclusive leader’.
Your role as a leader is to ensure that you have real data to support your internal view of yourself.
Ask yourself: Can each employee bring ‘all of themselves’ to work?