Many organizations that take diversity seriously often fail to adequately address inclusion in their efforts. In some cases, it's due to insufficient understanding of how inclusion is distinct from and at least as important as diversity. However, the problem ultimately boils down to the fact that inclusion is much more difficult to address than diversity.
Diversity in your organization's workforce is relatively simple to measure. Often, it's as easy as counting up the the different types of diverse employees and calculating percentages of each category as a portion of the whole organization.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is a completely different matter to measure, or even detect through traditional means. Being a bit more of an intangible quality among people, inclusion has always been of a challenge for organizations to track and manage. Some companies use proxy measures like employee satisfaction, but the link between these and inclusion are usually weak at best. Other companies use indicators like turnover and promotions, which cover only a limited part of what inclusion is and provide only a lagging indicator that is often too little and too late to be helpful.
Organizational Connectivity gets to the heart of what inclusion is and provides a quantitatively precise and visually informative indication of how inclusive (or non-inclusive) an organization's workplace is. Charts of informal human networks can literally show which individuals are "in" or "out." When these charts are combined with other background data and placed in proper context, we can determine whether each person is "in" or "out" for legitimate reasons or illegitimate ones.
The diagrams below (based upon ground-breaking research by Dr. Karen Stephenson of NetForm) show an organization and three of the informal human networks that exist within it. While women and ethnic minorities play a strong role in the work network (which shows who interacts with whom to do their jobs), they are much less integrated in the other two networks. The problem is especially more serious in regard to the Career Advice Network, which shows who is mentoring whom and plays a major role in who gets eventually gets promoted. Here, the evidence seems to suggest that while this organization has some diversity, it is not a very inclusive environment for women and ethnic minorities. Of course, we would have to investigate further to see if there are legitimate mitigating circumstances or if our initial suspicions are corroborated by a sufficient amount of additional data.
Here's how Constellation SAS can help your organization build a more inclusive work environment:
- Presentations on Understanding and Creating Inclusion through Human Networks
- Formal Training Sessions and Workshops (from two hours to one week in length)
- One-on-One Executive Coaching
- Inclusive Work Environment Analysis Projects
- Inclusion Strategy Planning