Five steps to workplace inclusion – step 4

Regularly invest in staff training

So, you’ve devised and are implementing a well-documented plan. You’re incorporating inclusion principles across all of the business and creating opportunities for cross-functional interaction among the team.

If you haven’t already now it’s time to regularly invest in staff­ training. I’ve written at length about the value of staff­ training. In short, well-trained, well-supported staff­ are vital to any workplace.

Inclusion is cultural. Its success depends on everyone grasping its importance, not merely complying. For this to happen, managers need to firmly understand why you’re striving for inclusion. Simply telling people ‘to be inclusive’ isn’t going to get you far.

Techniques to educate and persuade will vary according to the size and shape of the workplace and be di­fferent according to industry, but here are my three general tips:

  •  Tell stories. Stories are e­ffective ways to educate and convince. Role plays can be useful. Anything that puts current staff­ into the shoes of the people coming in is going to build empathy and compassion.
  • Show, don’t tell. Persuade through personal action. Staff­ won’t do what you say, they’ll do what you do. So set a good example!
  • Explain why. To encourage commitment from your team talk about why inclusion is vital just as much as how it’s going to happen.

 As always, if you need support or guidance to implement any one of these steps, please get in contact. I’m always happy to help spread inclusion!

- Martin Wren