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How to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Over the last two weeks, we have been doing a deep dive into how organizations can become more diverse and inclusive and why this is so important for not only their cultures but for their bottom lines.

A 2018 report by McKinsey Consulting found that companies with a more diverse workforce posted profits that were on average 43% higher than less diverse organizations. How to build an inclusive workforce with the Diversity Keynote Speakers at The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

Organizations that seek to create inclusive environments that boast greater diversity in their workforces are more creative and innovative, in addition to being more likely to share ideas between their team members and departments. (See our great infographic here for more info)

If these two concepts were the only things to come from fostering inclusive and diverse workplaces, they would be enough, but the impacts of a workforce with varied backgrounds, experiences, ages, and gender identities go far beyond this.

With the shift back to the workplace, we asked some of our best speakers on leadership and diversity how leaders can build inclusive workplaces.  

Branding expert Denise Lee Yohn says that humble leaders who are focused on listening, serving, and lifting others up, will naturally create inclusive workplace cultures. For other leaders, this can be a daunting task.  

Dynamic leadership speaker Kaplan Mobray said that “To make inclusion sustainable it must be an intentional act led by leaders who care and respect the value of different perspectives and make it non-negotiable to create winning results in all aspects of their business.”

He went on to say that organizations must seek to hire mission-driven “people leaders” who actively build inclusive leadership teams and implement policies and performance management practices that allow people of all backgrounds to see themselves thriving in the organization.

One of Kaplan’s excellent suggestions for leaders is to create a sense of belonging by building and fostering employee resource groups (ERGs) as a forum for listening and learning through inclusive conversations. 

Curiosity & Inclusion

Inclusive conversations are authentic conversations that are often fueled by curiosity, a key element to inclusive workplaces adds resilience speaker Corinne Hancock.

Curiosity is also a key element to innovation and its root cause: creativity. So how can we leverage curiosity to drive inclusion?

Why Listening is the Key

Diversity Speaker Heather R. Younger says the answer is simple: “listen to everyone’s voices.” 

It is in those voices, sometimes the quieter ones in the room, that new ideas can evolve into impactful ideas.

According to research by Salesforce, employees who feel their voices are “heard at work” are five times more likely to feel empowered to produce their best work. 

A major part of this connection between diversity and innovation comes from an organization’s ability to not only listen but to work towards a common goal, adds Leadership speaker Marilyn Tam

Understanding how we lead, and consciously creating workplaces that inspire belonging are the first steps to building unstoppable organizations that will reap the rewards of diverse teams, not only financially, but culturally.


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    Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]