We’ve all been there – when someone deliberately or mistakenly excludes you from decisions or conversations that you feel should have been relevant to what you are working on. Or, we have mistakenly excluded someone who we should have considered as an obvious participant to a decision or conversation. Creating inclusion in the workplace becomes important when you are trying to establish great working relationships and trying to move the organization forward. Here are several ways to build inclusion in the workplace:
- Try to understand – In some organizations roles and responsibilities are meshed together between employees and it takes a while to really understand someone’s primary set of responsibilities. In this case, take some time to sit down and talk about what their role is, their interests, and their expectations related to how involved they want to be in the decisions related to their responsibilities. Some people are totally hands-off while others want to be involved.
- Get the history – If you are new to the organization and are working with the majority of employees that have been there longer than you have, it’s important to get the history of who has been involved in the past and why. Sometimes people are included in decisions or meetings just to make them feel good. There is some value there. If you feel that people should not be included, have a frank discussion and find out why they were included in the past and what value they bring to the discussion.
- Ask for an opinion – The simple act of asking someone what they think can build trust and motivate an open conversation about a topic. That opinion can bring a diverse perspective on the topic and help the decision. Even though, the opinion may not drive the overall decision, it creates an explosion of positive vibes and feelings. This is because it shows that there is a sense of belonging.
- Build the rapport – It’s important in any situation to build rapport in the workplace. Inclusion can be created just by having a casual conversation about a topic without the person being directly involved in the decision. Building rapport has many positive benefits in addition to creating inclusion.
Creating inclusion is important in the workplace, and can contribute to the success of any initiative. Therefore, consider the previous points when trying to develop a working group or individuals that you think can positively contribute to the decision or conversation.
Purvi Bodawala is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.