Article: How leaders foster inclusive teams


How leaders foster inclusive teams

HR leaders share strategies for cultivating diverse, inclusive teams with innovative approaches
How leaders foster inclusive teams

Organisations are increasingly recognising the immense value of fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DE&I) workplace. This goes beyond simply checking a box – DE&I is seen as a strategic imperative for driving innovation, fostering a positive work environment, and ultimately, achieving better business outcomes. To translate this strategic focus into concrete action, organisations are implementing various DE&I initiatives. One such approach is tracking the representation of diverse candidates throughout the recruitment process.

As Nimisha Pathak, CHRO at Alvarez and Marsal, emphasises, "This concerted effort includes tracking the representation of diverse candidates through the recruitment process and taking action to address any gaps."

Following the focus on diverse recruitment, fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued is crucial. Madhushree Dutta, Head HR-India at Pure Storage, highlights the importance of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as a key strategy.

Pure Storage has six ERGs focused on supporting women, underrepresented ethnic groups, the LGBTQ+ community, and others. These groups foster connections, create a strong sense of community, and play a vital role in informing inclusive policies and practices.  

Ensuring inclusivity as a leader

As a leader, Madhushree believes that an effective communication is pivotal in building an inclusive culture. While, "by the people, for the people, from the people” is the philosophy for all support and initiatives at Alvarez and Marsal, highlights Nimisha.

“Effective communication fosters understanding, respect, and collaboration among diverse team members. By actively promoting open dialogue, encouraging diverse viewpoints, and ensuring all voices are heard and valued, organisations can create an environment where everyone feels respected and empowered,’ explains Madhushree.

For Epsilon India, it is essential to create an environment of empathy, belonging, and collaboration. Sonali De Sarker, VP, of HR, Epsilon India advocates for providing a place where every employee has a voice and feels welcome, free to be themselves, and empowered to do their best work.

Besides, prioritising open and constructive feedback encourages open dialogue and empowers individuals by acknowledging their contributions and respectfully addressing areas for growth. “It helps identify and dismantle unconscious biases and systemic barriers that may hinder inclusivity. By implementing regular feedback mechanisms, such as anonymous surveys, one-on-one meetings, and inclusive performance reviews, organisations can ensure that all employees feel heard and valued,’ adds Pure Storage's HR leader.

Impact of the Initiatives

Consistent high employee engagement scores, increased retention and diversity ratio, and higher diversity hiring are some of the major impacts organisations are experiencing which is making significant strides in fostering an inclusive culture that values diversity and supports all employees.

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Topics: Diversity, Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, #HRCommunity

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