For people to do their best work as individuals and members of well-functioning teams, they need to have a sense of belonging; to feel recognized, respected and valued for who they are; and to experience supportive energy from their leaders, colleagues and others enabling them to contribute and grow (Miller & Katz, 2002).
When inclusion makes space for the uniquely different perspectives and skill sets present in the workforce and enables an environment that encourages and facilitates free-flowing interaction and collaboration between and among people from all backgrounds, divisions, disciplines and hierarchical levels of the organization, that organization can deliver faster and cheaper and more innovatively than before.
Implementing a change process that values inclusive mindsets and behaviors is one of the most effective paths for increasing productivity and innovation in today’s organizations. The results speak for themselves. In the dollars-and-cents numbers of return-on- investment, and in the energy and commitment that shows on the faces of people as they work together, inclusive practices produce results that can no longer be called “soft.” The only real words to describe them are “good business.”