The Reality of How Employee Resource Groups Can Create An Inclusive Culture

Today, I want to talk about cultural change and inclusion. I’ve been getting a lot of requests about organisational culture and the difficulty in changing the culture of an organisation. This is relevant because my research has consistently shown that changing organisational culture is one of the 3 biggest problems that organisations experience when they try to become more inclusive. It’s one of the 3 P’s at the heart of my approach. I discuss this in the pilot episode of this podcast and repeat constantly to everyone I meet. People, Potential and Performance. The P that relates directly to culture is Potential.

In todays show I discuss several things including:

  • Why common ideas about cultural change are limited in their approach
  • The elegant yet simple model to help you think about the culture where you work
  • The role employee resource groups can help to change the culture of your organisation

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

Knee Jerk Reactions

I describe how modern organisations feel that they have to be seen to be trying to improve diversity. I explain how organisations often do this without considering the long term consequences:

“The simple truth is that several of these organisations rush into knee jerk initiatives without truly considering the long-term implications”

Senior Leaders are important but also Middle Managers Matter

I outline why the received knowledge that leaders alone can change organisational culture may be limited. I explain how middle management have a huge influence on change:

“The problem is what gets described as the frozen middle. The people in the middle are blocking change why? Because they are responsible for day-to-day hiring and firing, they influence recruitment, retention and promotion in organisations.”

Employee Resource Groups as Agents of Change

I describe how employee resource groups can be used to influence the culture of the organisation. I suggest that they have the power to create change:

“By introducing employee resource groups you show that employees can recognise more of their identities within the workplace and that your organisation wants to recognise that in the workplace because inclusion is important and necessary within the workplace”

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

The Pilot Episode of the Podcast 

Amazon Letter

Amazons Leadership Principles

BBBA Middle Research

Edgar Schein

Edgar Schein Cultural Model

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The Elements of Inclusion #4

Leaders must collaborate innovatively to leverage cultural expertise and drive business performance.

  • Why inclusive outcomes are driven by innovation
  • How developing a business case for diversity and inclusion specific to your organisation is a competitive advantage
  • Why novelty is at the heart of your inclusion journey

The Elements of Inclusion #3

Leaders must establish systems to ensure that everyone shares the same advantages and benefits. These processes will create incentives for inclusive behaviours.

  • How to augment your team with the tools and insights they need to prevent structural disadvantage
  • Why reinforcing generative norms ensures everyone belongs in the organisation
  • How inclusive representations can be embedded to promote an inclusive culture

The Elements of Inclusion #2

Leaders must redefine career development relationships to support inclusive performance.
  • Why traditional mentor relationships must be revised for an inclusive workplace
  • How leaders must embrace networks of developmental relationships for individual growth
  • Why established workplace norms must evolve for inclusion in the modern workplace

The Elements of Inclusion #1

Leaders must properly socialise people and socialise inclusive ideas by providing an environment for the cultural learning needed for an active role in an inclusive organisation

  • How your socialisation processes must evolve to encourage the sustainable cultivation of inclusive competencies
  • Why Leaders must consistently negotiate the line between organisational commitment and personal authenticity to promote performance
  • How developing intersectional self awareness can help leaders to leverage individual employee experiences