On a personal level, how we measure inclusion in the workplace is all about how we appraise others and the quality of interaction. Central to this, especially where significant differences between individuals and groups exist, is the extent of mutual understanding and acceptance established.
When we measure inclusion, we measure the evolution of relationships along a continuum from negative to positive. Often, this is not a smooth movement from any point given inherent complexities. It is therefore critically important to focus on what will smooth relationships and optimise understanding and respect.
A big element of diversity and inclusion online courses is seeing the benefit of creating certainty and predictability in interactions. The more consistently people experience interactions as positive and regularly contribute to learning constructively about others, the freer individuals will become to share themselves openly in a liberated fashion.
Interpersonal congruence develops with healthy interactions and psychologically, our trust builds towards feelings of being part of something beyond ourselves. Measuring inclusion becomes akin to measuring feelings of unity. We want to contribute more and more of ourselves if our inclusion assessment is affirming and increasingly confident.
Inclusive leadership efforts must work on ensuring the organisational culture and climate stimulate and support behaviour that is aligned with creating congruence. Diversity training companies will empower leaders with the capability to draw people closer by emphasising commonalities in the human experience, rather than differences whilst concurrently celebrating uniqueness and authenticity.
Organisations that measure inclusion will therefore always highlight where work still needs to be done in creating opportunities—opportunities for people to improve their interpersonal skills and understanding, opportunities for people to participate collaboratively more, more chances to voice their opinions and get heard more, as well as opportunities to become more committed to unleash their discretionary effort and display the full spectrum of their talents, etc. Engagement and involvement are central to achieving inclusion.
When we look at what is inclusive leadership, we soon realise it is more about what inclusive leadership does. It creates opportunities for people’s involvement that is enthusiastic, passionate, and cooperative. Individual and collective ownership is transferred during inclusive leadership as people are rewarded for developing the courage to take steps toward each other despite the risk of conflict and disagreements.
This is made less threatening by inclusive leadership that understands interactions will remain predictable and consistent when inclusive rules at every exchange or encounter between individuals and within teams are upheld—honesty, listening, freedom, and no judgement and no abuse of power or position are just a few amongst these.
Inclusive leaders are tasked with teaching and managing the factors that will lead to safeguarding relationship health throughout; essentially those items that are of cardinal importance highlighted during online learning diversity. No one is to be self-serving and competitive if our goal is an inclusive environment. We will all appreciate others more and enjoy our interactions with them when sincerity, integrity, and positive intent are apparent. With these in sight, the need to quantitatively measure inclusion dissipates.