In a remote work environment, fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging can be challenging. In a live webinar on February 24th, 2021, we invited Marie Roker-Jones, co-CEO of Essteem, to share tips and strategies for leaders to boost inclusion and belonging on their virtual teams.
Here's three takeaways from the event.
1. "To retain employees, organizations need to prioritize inclusion as well as diversity."
In today’s virtual work environment, it’s not enough to simply hire from a diverse talent pool. Employers need to promote an inclusive culture and maintain employee engagement through ongoing training, communication, and processes.
In the webinar, Marie pointed out that a lot of this comes back to leading with compassion. "Being empathetic and compassionate goes a long way in terms of helping employees to trust you and put in their best effort," she said. "Compassion is key to creating a culture of belonging."
2. When it comes to innovation & creativity, your diverse workforce is your superpower.
Marie also shared why diversity and innovation is critical to creativity, and why employee referral programs might hurt your team's inclusivity.
“It's so powerful to bring in people who offer a different perspective. A more diverse team can allow you to create better products and serve your customers better, because you’re viewing the world from a different lens.”
Diversity gives your team a competitive advantage.
3. Inclusivity needs to be a part of your company's DNA.
Too often, organizations treat diversity & inclusion as an afterthought. But in order to create a culture of belonging, companies must be intentional about keeping inclusivity front and center. And it's about more than having a one-time inclusion training.
“Everyone, internally and externally, needs to understand your inclusion efforts," said Marie. "They need to know why your company values diversity, inclusion, and belonging. That includes partners, vendors, as well as new hires and potential hires."
Watch the full webinar to learn more about:
- The difference between diversity & inclusion
- Why listening is important as a first step towards understanding your team
- Key strategies to promote inclusion and build a sense of belonging on your team
- Diversity templates and assessment resources