Five steps to workplace inclusion – step 5

Support middle management to understand, implement and assess progress

So now you’ve:

·       Devised a well-documented plan

·       Incorporated inclusion principles across all of the business

·       Created opportunities for cross-functional interaction among the team

·       Regularly invested in staff training.

Well done! You’ve created the framework for an inclusive workplace. Now you must support middle management to understand, implement and assess progress. Don’t miss this step. It’s vital.

With strong leadership from the top, this is what you do:

1. Clearly set out the organisation’s aims and expectations with realistic stretch targets

2. Appoint a champion to enthuse other C-level executives and ensure that all parts of the business are aware of company direction and commitment

3. Establish regular progress measurement and reporting that adjusts to reality.

(Here’s an example to explain: ‘We wanted 4% of new staff hires to be people with disability in that last quarter. We got 3%. What did we learn in the process? How do we improve?’ OR ‘We got 5%. Great! Should we reframe targets and aim higher?’)

4. With any successes, share ‘Hero’ storytelling to provide role models, explain the process and increase staff enthusiasm. These stories can come from ‘the top’, the coalface and/or department feedback.

5. When established, promote the company’s initiative widely outside of the organisation. The numbers are in – customers view favourably, and make purchases based on, their understanding of a business’s commitment to inclusive principles.

In summary, ensure the goals are realistic and staff are informed and supportive.

As always, if you would like to chat more about setting up workplace inclusion in your business, please get in touch.

- Martin Wren