Are you bringing your “whole self” to work? Can you freely discuss your experiences and unique point of view without any risk to being a valued member of the workplace? Do you think everyone at your workplace can do so? If they did, imagine what we’d learn and where everyone’s ideas could take us!
In this edition, we’re hopping right into a big topic of today’s workplaces: inclusion. This topic has been quite popular as of lately – in fact, various sizeable companies in private and public sectors have taken steps to promote inclusion in the workplace. There are many reasons for these efforts. For instance, legally, we need to put an end to discriminatory practices in our workplaces and being inclusive can help with that. Also, there’s a business case for inclusion where more inclusive organizations have better performance on various important metrics, like retention, innovation, and their bottom-line results. Finally, being inclusive also seems like the “right” thing to do. Shouldn’t we strive to treat every employee like they belong and ensure they feel valued for whom they are as individuals?
But, what exactly does inclusion entail and are we truly taking steps to promote inclusivity in our workplaces? As HR professionals, a lot falls upon us to be educated and help educate others regarding what is (and what is not) inclusion as well as how to be inclusive to people of all types of backgrounds, experiences, and diversity characteristics. Our contributors have set the stage for some of this information by providing insight into how to foster inclusion, dispelling myths of millennials, discussing transgender in the workplace, and highlighting what’s needed to help more women become leaders in the workplace. I hope you take away some actions you can implement in your own workplace. Enjoy!
Katrina (“Katie”) Piccone Merlini, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Industrial/ Organizational (I/O) Psychology and the Academic Chair of the Organizational Leadership MA program at Florida Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on leadership, diversity and inclusion, organizational culture and climate, and individual motivation and self-regulation. She is a member of South Brevard SHRM.