Organizations have seen talent being mobile, especially in the Great Resignation. Attrition rates have reached their all-time-high. Employees have opened the doors to different opportunities and work arrangements in the creation of “culturally fit” organizations. Leaders should be able to improve the company’s talent retention processes by making their team members feel “included” as future work is being redefined.
On today’s podcast episode, we interview Deanna Singh, Managing Partner of Uplifting Impact and author of the upcoming book, Actions Speak Louder: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Inclusive Workplace at a High level. Today’s topics are locked-in on creating inclusive workplace environments to improve employee engagement and talent retention.
What Deanna Learned from the Past 2 Years
According to Deanna, the past 2 years have been a challenge for people because they have the innate desire for connection. Strict lockdown procedures, social distancing and the threat of an unseen enemy severed lots of connections between us. However, innovative bursts paved the way for virtual communication. It goes to show that the desire for connection cannot be hindered by anything like a pandemic.
The Benefits of Privilege and How to Use It
According to Deanna, leaders often don’t recognize the privileges of their position and how to use those privileges to role model more engaged and participative organizational cultures. There are two ways for leaders to improve their use of privileges.
- Understanding Your Privileges – Leaders have access to different privileges due to their position. The reality is not everyone can have the privileges that a leader has. Having this kind of awareness can help leaders realize that they can use the privileges of their position to build more meaningful cultures that are more in line with positive organizational goals and purpose.
- How to Use Your Privileges – Leaders can empower their teams through powerful words and dialogue. They can ask impactful questions, tell stories, and display humanity. This in turn fosters new ideas, productivity, and engagement.
Practical Tips in Creating Inclusive Workplace Environments
Here are some of the tips that Deanna gave in the interview in creating inclusive workplace environments.
- Reprogramming Fear as an Opportunity – Many leaders were overwhelmed by the Great Resignation. Deanna advises that by turning such fear into opportunity, organizations can embed retention into their hiring and onboarding processes.
- Accepting New Ideas – Letting a team member’s voice be heard by accepting their opinions and suggestions will make them feel “included” inside the organization. People often stay because they feel valued as humans.
- Doing Things Better with Inclusionary Lens – Leaders often change the processes inside the organization with hopes of “adding” better systems. Though important, it is often more beneficial to focus more on things that are already working and improving them with fresh ideas.
Meeting Management Tips from Deanna
According to Deanna, here are several tips that can improve the management of any kind of meeting–whether virtual, in-person or hybrid.
- Letting Others Lead – Deanna said she gave other team members the opportunity to lead meetings. This will create a sense of belonging and inclusiveness.
- Open Agenda – Team members can raise agenda, concerns, opinions and ideas without judgment. This is to make sure that the top leaders are not the only ones driving the organization’s decisions.
- Vibe Checking – Allowing a five-minute conversation at the start of meetings allows team members to check-in with each other with topics outside the meeting agenda.
- Taking the Time – When things are getting serious, a 30 – second break can be given for everyone to take the time to reset.
Who is Deanna Singh?
Deanna is a business consultant, speaker, and podcaster who is internationally recognized for her work in leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Deanna helps her clients create more equitable and inclusive work environments and engage more authentically within their internal and external communities.
Her podcast, Uplifting Impact–with a focus on looking at the intersection of Leadership and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion–focuses on solutions and is directed at people who want to break the status quo.
To learn more about creating inclusive workplace, download this episode now.
Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:
Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.