February’s Good Links

Each month, the Social Good Blog highlights news and resources on a specific topic. In February, we are exploring diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Many people equate a diverse workforce with elements such as race or gender. However, the conversation has evolved in recent years to include cognitive diversity – taking into account the varied thinking styles of employees from a wide range of backgrounds as another key factor of business growth.  Get a better sense of what the concept entails with this article from Emergenetics.

Last year, Deloitte and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative published a widely distributed report which implied that Millennials will change the employment landscape, supporting the aforementioned notion while putting heavy emphasis on inclusion. In this case, innovation within an organization comes by way of mixed perspectives and experiences within a collaborative team. As the report concludes, it’s clear that in order to create a culture where staff members are fully engaged, the traditional definitions of these ideas will be need to be expanded with employee input.

Inclusion partially consists of determining how individuals can bring their most authentic selves to work.  “Employees are often unwilling to discuss mistakes because they don’t feel safe to share them,” shared Dr. Sydney Finkelstein in a recent interview with 15Five’s David Hassell. The professor of management and faculty director at Dartmouth College demonstrates the crucial role that managers play in creating a transparent environment where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves. Here at Goodwill Industries International, our workforce development team recently implemented a “failure lab” where staff were encouraged to share all of the lessons learned after a veterans outreach event.  Finkelstein’s Mistake of the Month meeting follows a similar formula.

For readers who may be wondering what they can do on a personal level, check out What to Do When You Don’t Feel Comfortable Being Yourself at Work, produced by Harvard Business Review. The article prompts readers to ask themselves questions such as, “What’s your evidence for believing you’ll be penalized?” By the same token, you can be a part of a new movement at your company by assessing its needs and creating an action plan. Providing a narrative to inspire change is just one of the useful tips that this piece for the Muse shares.