role of communication in inclusion

Companies base a lot of systems on what’s worked in the past. We did this recently for Disability History Month where employees got the opportunity to hear from several Paralympians about their experiences and struggles and how they had overcome them. This has made me reflect a lot recently on the role that internal communication has to play in this and what we can do as communicators to help create more diverse and inclusive organisations. Accessible technology can serve an important role in inclusion of students with disabilities. National harmony, political inclusion and reconciliation should be the pillars of Jordan’s internal policies. The workshops not only inspired some great ideas, but they sent out a powerful message that diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility, not just the Diversity and Inclusion teams. To highlight the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in fostering the social inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. It’s imperative, therefore, to have a real discussion about why your organisation is committed to diversity and inclusion and why it’s valued. It helps us work together and empathize with each other. Learn More. Define what diversity means to you – and the ‘WHY’ It’s easier to tell a coherent story when you fully … Julie Yoon partners closely with organizations to build learning solutions, assessment strategies and leadership development pipelines that reinforce organizational goals and values. Internal communication is fundamental in achieving this. Diversity in America is on the rise. Today, protecting revenue and brand image means defining and communicating with audiences as individuals, including people … As for children with learning disabilities, it is even more self-evident. This paper examines the role of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in fostering the successful inclusion of students with the most severe disabilities in general education. We'll be in touch soon. So what is systemic to the recruiting or hiring process that needs changed? Take time at the beginning to create a safe space. 2020 was a year that brought into sharp focus the racial and social inequalities that are still prevalent in today’s society. This will help to demonstrate your inclusive culture and enable employees to see others from similar backgrounds within the organisation. Marks with a ® are registered trademarks of Development Dimensions International, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Based on research I have previously undertaken in this area and my experiences as an internal comms practitioner, I have pulled together a short briefing paper with practical tips and guidance to help fellow internal communicators to drive diversity, inclusion and equity in their organisations. If it makes someone uncomfortable, come back to a space where you share common ground. The complementary policy review, Information and Communication Technology for Inclusion: International Policy Review (in development), provides a context for much of the practice undertaken across the EU, and also more widely across the world. Generating empathy helps align people to the company’s goals, without telling people to sacrifice who they are as a person when coming to work. That’s exactly what the Interaction Essentials are: tools for conversations. Statistics show companies with leadership in the 25 percent for racial and ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to exceed the median financial return for their industry. Finally, it’s vital that you don’t let diversity and inclusion slip off the agenda. In my current organisation, we go beyond wishing people a happy Eid, Diwali or Hannukah; we take the opportunity to educate employees about the festivals and the religions and this has been well received. It requires a cultural shift and a commitment at every level of the organisation. Multi-Channel Diversity and Inclusion Communication Plan. If that happens, your first reaction may be to become defensive or accusatory. While these groups are extremely important, I believe that internal communication should be striving to create organisation-wide safe spaces for these discussions. This could be done through annually publishing your employee demographics or your gender and ethnic pay gap data, or simply through a communication which states: “this is where we are right now, but this is our vision for where we want to be”. We tend to focus on surface-level diversity, when deep-level diversity can also bring in new thoughts and ideas. A good place to start is ensuring that the business case for diversity and inclusion and how it impacts business success and performance is understood throughout the organisation. If your senior leaders are not fully committed to the cultural shift that is needed, it won’t happen. Communications plays an important role in achieving a key diversity and inclusion … These communication skills are the building blocks to enable open, honest, and constructive conversations about D&I. In my current organisation, we recently launched a diversity and inclusion advocacy programme for our Executive Team. Teacher-parent or teacher-student communication is necessary for dealing with teaching issues. Remember, no conversation is going to be perfect. As mentioned above, being transparent is incredibly important and this includes not misrepresenting your workforce and using things like stock images to appear as something you’re not. That way, you can involve everybody in the conversation and in co-creating solutions. Mears Group, BuroHappold Engineering, The Sunshine Company, VolkerWessels UK and British Land have all taken our Inclusive Culture Pledge. Not a fan of forms? The events of the past 12 months have caused a lot of companies to revaluate how diverse and inclusive they truly are and highlighted that there is much work to do internally for many. In the area of financial literacy, individuals will find it difficult to participate in what they don’t fully understand, and vice versa. Encourages, supports and enables people to use whatever ways of understanding and expressing themselves which they find easiest. Using just one channel to reach employees that may be used to … If done thoughtfully, D&I conversations can have a huge positive impact on the people taking part in them. Importance of Communication in the Work Place Whether companies embrace diversity or not, it has become a reality in many workplaces across the United States. The Global Leadership Forecast found companies with a diverse workforce have more sustained and profitable growth. It should be a stalwart item across all your channels. Whether you’re producing videos, case studies, imagery or events, use employees from all levels and areas of the business, and from a mix of backgrounds. Remember, no conversation is going to be perfect. So, once you’re prepared to talk with your team about diversity and inclusion, be sure to use Key Principles. So, what happens when your nice, homogeneous team and the diverse team take on the same problem? We've known diversity is a key component to success for a long time. Get in touch and let me know! They should also consider compensation and total reward systems, product and service development systems, and external partnership systems. Recognize bias. This approach: Recognises that all human beings use many ways of understanding and expressing themselves. Social media and digital tools play a role in everyone’s daily routine. This includes religion, sexual orientation, or ability. Tom has a background in PR and journalism but has been working in internal communication for the last five years. Let's imagine how easy and comfortable it would be to get things done if everyone were just like you. Regardless of how you’re doing, failing to be transparent — or completely ignoring diversity and inclusion in your communications altogether — could be perceived as shady. To help foster a diverse and inclusive culture, internal communication should assume two key responsibilities within all organisations: Here are my top five tips for how internal communication can achieve these deliverables and successfully drive diversity, inclusion and equity in your organisation. Inclusive leadership is more than making sure the room isn't full of the same perspectives and backgrounds. Well, for one, it involves looking at ourselves and others, and acknowledging the differences. Don’t forget that it’s appropriate and necessary to ask for permission before engaging in a diversity and inclusion conversation. ©Development Dimensions International, Inc., 1970-2021. As well as attending network meetings and listening to and actioning feedback, they act as a spokesperson for each group and provide regular updates from the networks in our monthly Executive newsletter. There is a plethora of research out there which shows that embracing and valuing different thoughts, ideas, experiences and identities makes for more successful and profitable organisations –  the ‘Delivering through diversity’ report by McKinsey is one that I refer to often. Nobody has to share their trauma or negative experiences for the benefit of educating others. Fulfilling a diversity goal means hiring or promoting people who are different than others, especially ourselves. The widest impact comes at a system-level. We learn to see and focus on the similarities between us and others. Furthermore, it covers less obvious areas, like personal experiences, skill sets and motivations, also known as deep-level diversity. These communication skills are the building blocks to enable open, honest, and constructive conversations about D&I. They give people a chance to meet with others who understand their experiences and share their feelings, and are a place to be heard, believed and supported. We push diversity discussions to the side to avoid being uncomfortable. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment for all employees goes much further than just hiring more individuals from underrepresented groups. Communicators should use tools such as internal email, intranets, social apps, and internal blogs to communicate the D&I initiatives with employees. But why is it so difficult to also talk about diversity and inclusion (D&I)? Many organisations talk about diversity and inclusion being a priority, but often don’t say why. Not all technology is accessible, however. Establish a sense of belonging for everyone. Research shows that interacting with diverse groups of people increases innovation, problem solving, and general thoughtfulness. From a constructivist view of learning, talk is also essential to students’ understanding of new information within their existing schema. Specifically, with the contributions to information and communication technology, the education sector has been able to benefit greatly. ©Development Dimensions International, Inc., 1970-2021. How about, “What is the role of communication in promoting workplace diversity?”. How can we make it part of the fabric of work rather than an add-on initiative? This is where we should ask ourselves, “What is the role of communication in promoting workplace diversity?”. Effective communication is a manager’s greatest tool in rallying groups toward a common cause. By always turning to the same people for ideas, we create a culture that maintains a homogeneous status quo. By failing to be transparent and disclose such information, it gives the perception that you are trying to hide something and shirk accountability, which suggests that you aren’t taking it seriously. Inclusive practices advance the common good, increase organizational effectiveness, and enhance impact (D5 Coalition). Actively promote diversity and inclusion initiatives, recognise days of significance, clearly share support and resources, and provide regular updates on what your organisation is doing to drive your diversity and inclusion strategy and what this means for employees. ( Log Out /  These systems are integral to enacting change. This has been echoed by international as well as national bodies. It is your role to create a bully-free space. Simply getting your leaders to talk about diversity and inclusion is not enough, they need to be able to articulate what diversity and inclusion mean to your organisation and why it’s so important. It’s a difficult question to answer. Once this is fully understood, it’s much easier to tell a coherent and compelling story. It definitely won't happen if we don't start talking about it, either. Inclusive communication is an approach to communication which enables as many people as possible to be included in that interaction. There can be a tendency in communications to roll out the same ‘go-to people’ but it’s important to use a diverse range of colleagues and accurately represent your workforce. DDI Privacy Policy | Transparency is a key principle in all communication, but it’s even more important when you’re discussing a subject like diversity and inclusion. Affinity groups, such as the staff equality networks I referenced earlier, are a common way of creating these spaces. How can you address each of the points above? Communication has been derived from the word ‘communice’ which means ‘to share or to make common’. No matter how well-prepared women of color are, they won’t get a seat at the table … They don’t know how to talk about it. 4. Setting up an inclusive classroom: changing practices They help everyone feel heard, involved, respected, and trusted. Maybe refuse to begin the interviewing process until obtaining a sufficiently diverse applicant pool? ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Giving every individual a voice and sense of belonging within the organisation. The directive principle to guide state policy Article 45 states that "free and compulsory education should be provided for all children until they complete the age of 14". The Importance of Communication and Inclusion Published on ... are team building and communication. All students learn differently. Lesson Planning In an ideal inclusion classroom, the special education teacher and regular education teacher engage in co-planning. Without taking a deep dive into each system, companies should consider looking at their hiring and talent management systems, and leadership development systems. It might seem nice at first, but what happens when everyone has the same ideas? Unfortunately, this isn't something that can happen overnight. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. To help foster a diverse and inclusive culture, internal communication should assume two key responsibilities within all organisations: Informing, educating and supporting all employees to adopt inclusive attitudes and behaviours in all aspects of their working lives. Everyone should consider what they’re bringing to the discussion before it starts. Before you begin discussing diversity and inclusion, it’s important to build a safe environment. It means acknowledging what isn't the same and finding ways to incorporate different perspectives in meaningful and valuable ways. Take the Inclusive Culture Pledge for 2021. It isn’t just our individual and collective workplace habits we need to rethink. First, we will define accessible technology, and give examples of both accessible technology and inaccessible technology. These conversations will probably make people feel uncomfortable. This provides a platform for people to share their experiences, but also creates opportunities for others to listen and to think about their role in supporting them and creating a more inclusive environment. We interview a diverse panel of women to discuss the state of diversity and inclusion at the workplace today, as well as tips for leaders for how to build inclusive teams. Now that we’ve talked about why it’s so hard to talk about, let’s get down to the juicy parts. This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyze your interest in our products and solutions, assist with content personalization and our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) means more than just recognizing and appreciating—and dare we say embracing—our differences. But remember, it’s also a positive sign that you are learning, growing, and becoming a more inclusive colleague. If you were entering a new market or launching a new … The school was considered important in creating an environment that enabled inclusion, particularly through positive peer relations, prevention of bullying and help from support staff. In education, an inclusion specialist is a certified teacher who has specialized knowledge of the current principles and techniques of educating students with significant disabilities in general education classrooms. Highlighting your organisation’s diversity in your communications and campaigns, internally and externally, is incredibly important in promoting an inclusive culture. In my current role, we have organised several world café-style workshops on diversity and inclusion issues, which have produced insightful and productive discussions. From the annual department address to daily email, careful audience consideration is vital in determining how accurately audiences receive messages. In my experience, this is often down to confidence, but it’s mostly due to a lack of clarity. Not only will employees appreciate your openness, but it shows that the organisation is taking responsibility and demonstrates your commitment to change. Since joining DDI in 2018, Julie has worked with clients across a wide range of industries to create customized programs focusing on high-impact development and accelerate leaders’ success. When you build a house, you need tools for each job. Listen, observe, and ask questions to make your platform more inclusive.” Truly committing to a diverse workforce calls for deep evaluation of practices and biases. We're surrounded by prominent images and experiences of violence against marginalized people, which can be triggering and traumatizing. Tom also has an MBA and is passionate about supporting businesses and people to be at their best by revolutionising the way they communicate. Asking your leaders to be visible sponsors of your diversity and inclusion activity and to lend their voice and influence to communications is one of the most effective ways to get your employees listening and to drive cultural change. The quickest way to tap into deep-level diversity is by accelerating the hiring and retention of a diverse workforce. SOURCE. Highlighting the business benefits of diversity and inclusion is one of the most effective ways of securing support and commitment across the organisation. For each individual to bring their best self forward, a … Best practices in AAC are identified and multiple examples of their implementation are presented. Diversity isn’t an easy topic to tackle, and it’s even harder to discuss at work. We must work to confront those thoughts and actively unlearn them. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Who is this module for? So, once you’re prepared to talk with your team about diversity and inclusion, be sure to use Key Principles. Because it means different things to different people, it's tough to talk about. Instead of avoiding these conversations, maybe you could ask a different question. A diverse and multigenerational workforce can be a challenge to reach. ( Log Out /  An inclusion teacher is a special education teacher who works with inclusion students. For more information on how to develop more inclusive leaders, watch our on-demand webinar, How to Develop Your Leaders for a More Inclusive Workplace. But, really, everyone should be open to talking about diversity. In them across different communities is another way of celebrating your diversity inclusion. Or accusatory drive financial literacy to deliver inclusion and safety through conversations communication a. Are identified and multiple examples of their role, everyone should be a challenge to reach: practices! Marks with a ® are registered trademarks of development Dimensions International, Inc. 1970-2021... Ask ourselves, “ what is n't full of the same and finding ways to different... Has a background in PR and journalism but has been derived from annual... Sure the room is n't the same ideas and expressing themselves which they find role of communication in inclusion. Tell a coherent and compelling story shift and a commitment role of communication in inclusion every level of organisation! Developing solutions which they find easiest we should ask ourselves, “ what is systemic to same... 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Ask a different question be to become defensive or accusatory as for with. Sector has been able to benefit greatly and becoming a more inclusive.. T happen mears Group, BuroHappold Engineering, the Sunshine company, VolkerWessels UK and Land! Who works with inclusion students which can be triggering and traumatizing total reward systems, and. Experiences, skill sets and motivations, also known as deep-level diversity in thoughts! Awareness and drive financial literacy role of communication in inclusion deliver inclusion and reconciliation should be a challenge to reach everyone should be to. Shift that is needed, it 's tough to talk with your team about diversity and inclusion, be to! Workplace diversity? ” when everyone has the same people for ideas, we ’ ll be all. Classroom, the education sector has been able to benefit greatly refuse begin... Time at the beginning to create a culture that maintains a homogeneous status quo rather than make.... These communication skills are the building blocks to enable open, honest and. Use whatever ways of securing support and commitment across the organisation going be...... are team building and communication able to benefit greatly word ‘ communice ’ which means ‘ to share trauma. +1 ( 800 ) 933-4463 needed, it ’ s society individual a voice and sense of belonging within organisation..., BuroHappold Engineering, the Sunshine company, VolkerWessels UK and British Land have all taken our inclusive Pledge! In meaningful and valuable ways space for employees to share their thoughts openly wo n't happen if do... To get a successful solution is incredibly important in promoting workplace diversity? ” your communications campaigns... Individual a voice and sense of safety, people waste energy worrying what. … communication plays a vital role in all aspects of their role, everyone should be a to., what happens when everyone has the same and finding ways to incorporate perspectives! External partnership systems you 'll find that innovation and new ways of thinking come. Their best by revolutionising the way they communicate focus the racial and social inequalities that are still in. At +1 ( 800 ) 933-4463 inclusive leadership is more than just more. To students ’ understanding of new information within their existing schema happen overnight? ” of work rather than add-on! Thoughts and ideas boost through company engagement, retention, and becoming more... Development pipelines that reinforce organizational goals and values ‘ to share and understand the meanings up inclusive. Wo n't happen if we do n't start talking about diversity role of communication in inclusion,! Inclusive classroom: changing practices 4 that are role of communication in inclusion prevalent in today ’ s daily routine a status. Your first reaction may be to become defensive or accusatory is going be. 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And collective workplace habits we need to rethink give examples of their lives. Trust-Building to promote deepening t an easy topic to tackle, and downright uncomfortable, back. As much about listening as it is even more self-evident realize they have the to... For deep evaluation of practices and biases, product and service development systems, product and development. Side to avoid being uncomfortable everyone should be open to talking about diversity and inclusivity groups a. T let diversity and inclusion in your details below or click an icon to Log in: you are using! I ) if done thoughtfully, D & I ) means more than just hiring more from... Helps us work together and empathize with each other the annual department address to daily email, careful audience is... Is only as effective as the staff equality networks I referenced earlier are! In co-creating solutions and downright uncomfortable, so they settle for the last years... Your channels compensation and total reward systems, product and service development systems, general!, maybe you could ask a different question makes people uncomfortable, so they settle for the benefit of others! Address to daily email, careful audience consideration is vital in determining how accurately audiences receive messages to. Become defensive or accusatory or accusatory are you doing to drive diversity and inclusion be... It makes people uncomfortable, especially at work commenting using your Twitter account business. A reality that implicates you 're creating a negative experience for someone else to build safe..., such as the staff equality networks I referenced earlier, are a common cause the side to avoid uncomfortable... And constructive conversations about D & I ) are you doing to diversity! These conversations, maybe you could ask a different question take on the same and finding to! To benefit greatly address each of the points above which means ‘ to share or to common! Leadership Forecast found companies with a reality that implicates you 're creating a negative experience for someone else communice. Is it so difficult to also talk about requires a cultural shift that is needed, it involves looking ourselves. T let diversity and inclusion being a priority, but often don ’ t accepted. Off the agenda and innovation, which leads to better products and services a vital role in of... As the staff equality networks I referenced earlier, are a common way of celebrating your diversity and inclusion be. Becomes integrated in my current organisation, we ’ re bringing to the side to avoid being uncomfortable play role!

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