The examples below are taken from inclusion-building efforts within Fortune 100 companies ranging from multinational manufacturing, to financial services, to supply-chain and customer service all over the globe. Other clients that have successfully implemented similar inclusion strategies include large non-profits, educational institutions, municipalities, and governmental organizations. The following outcomes were assessed using measures that were important to the organizations themselves—how they improved the bottom line and/or delivery of services.

Manufacturing Plant, North America

Quality defects due to human error had been climbing for over a year when a quality improvement strategy was initiated. At about the same time, a multi-phased inclusion effort was initiated which included foundational inclusion education for people leaders, building a cohort of internal change agents, providing just-in-time coaching for leaders and team members in inclusive mindsets and behaviors, and forming compliance teams. The figure illustrates the impact of these targeted actions to reduce human error. The number of human errors decreased from a monthly high of 160 in mid-June to 29 in December. The compliance teams’ performance, which was integral to the reduction of human errors in the process, was specifically enabled by the integration of inclusive mindsets and behaviors into day-to-day interactions.

Manufacturing Plant, Central America

In the one-year period following implementation of the inclusion change effort focusing on enhancing day-to-day interactions and collaboration among line managers and work teams, company managers reported a noticeable increase in employee morale and job satisfaction. When an aggressive plan was announced to decrease manufacturing downtime while changing from one process or product to another, individuals at all levels felt safe to lean into discomfort and share solutions to address the new schedule without detrimental effects on performance. They were also able to address root cause problems that had previously led to inefficient changeover with more than 16 hours of downtime. The inclusive way the scheduling change was implemented resulted in the following improvements:

  • 48% unplanned volume increase
  • Customer service level of 100%
  • Time allotted to changeovers decreased from 3.55 hours to 2.8 hours, on average Production plan was fulfilled with minimal or no overtime.

Insurance Company, North America

To turn around an underperforming claim office, a leader implemented inclusive mindsets and behaviors throughout the office, re-engineered the center’s processes using a diverse team and piloted a customer care team. The leader also chartered a Diversity and Inclusion Committee that modeled inclusive behaviors and collaboration, initiated processes for increasing team member engagement and provided a feedback loop to leadership. Business results significantly increased in the year following the implementation of these actions.

Manufacturing Plant, Europe

To meet new organizational targets, the plant needed to raise its production from an average of 4.6 lots per week to a new target of 5.5 lots—and do it within two months. Instead of repeating past practices of simply announcing the goal and which changes to make, the plant leader met with and solicited ideas from shop floor team members about how to increase production. The result was that the plant not only met the new target, it exceeded it.

  • 4.6 lots per week: Previous production levels
  • 5.5 lots per week: New performance target
  • 6.0 lots per week: Actual performance level achieved within specified two months

Packaging Production Facility, North America

The Quality Assurance Group conducts approximately 1,000 shop floor inspections annually. In the year before the area began to focus on inclusion, there were 2,100 quality observations/errors identified during these inspections. After engaging the shop floor operators to use inclusive mindsets and behaviors to make problems visible and take ownership for preventing errors, the area went from 2,100 quality errors to 550 in a three-year period. The three shift teams joined to own the quality issues together, rather than blaming each other or assuming that management was accountable. This drastic reduction in observations improved productivity, increased efficiency and empowered operators to be accountable for quality. * Moreover, as a result of the increased involvement, people were more engaged and turnover decreased.

Manufacturing Plant, Central America

Prior to the inclusion-building change effort, suggestions from shop floor employees for process improvements were discouraged and new team members were expected to defer to seniority. After implementing inclusive practices, a new team member felt empowered enough to present an idea for automating a time-consuming process of manually labeling packages. The automated process reduced batch process time from 1 hour to 5 minutes—a 92% reduction—while also reducing the margin of error associated with manual input. Many other innovative ideas began to flourish as shop floor team members felt a sense of safety to engage and individuals could bring “fresh eyes” and their voice to solving problems.

  • 92% reduction in process time (from 1 hour to 5 minutes per batch)

Insurance Company, North America

A claim center leader needed to develop and implement a new operating model for claim recovery. Inclusive mindsets and behaviors were integrated into their day-to-day interactions. As a result, collaboration and innovative problem solving increased and the center became a profitable model adopted throughout carrier’s offices in the U.S.

Manufacturing Organization, North America

In response to team members’ complaints about ineffective meetings, a 17-member safety team began using a new “Standard Work Agenda” with enhanced norms of interaction. The Standard Work Agenda, distributed in advance of any meeting, clarifies not only the agenda, but also the purpose of the meeting, the ground rules, and the people invited. By stating ground rules, people come into the meeting on the same page regarding how they will interact and how they will achieve the purpose of the meeting. By listing attendees, each person can assess whether a person with critical information is missing or if their own presence at the meeting is necessary to reach the intended outcomes. By having an agenda in advance, people come to the meeting knowing what the discussion is and how best to contribute. The result is having the right people doing the right work at the right time. Incorporating this inclusive meeting norm reduced the team’s monthly meeting time by 30 minutes, while increasing members’ ratings of meeting effectiveness.

  • 8.5 working hours per month saved for one team

Manufacturing Plant, Europe

Since implementing an effort focused on improving workplace interactions using inclusive mindsets and behaviors, the plant saw significant improvements in morale, productivity and plant safety. In addition to significant improvements in quality and customer service, the plant also received the “Best Factory” award in the People Development category, given by a European university School of Management. Measurable Plant Accomplishments:

  • Over 600 small but impactful improvements submitted and delivered by individuals last year
  • Over 90% “Right First Time” on work orders
  • 98.5% satisfaction with customer service
  • Zero maintenance calibration misses in over 1,000 working days
  • Zero major accidents for over two years
  • 100% completion of corrective actions
  • Deviations reduced by 70%

The Plant manager was quoted as saying, “The culture is absolutely alive and kicking. I see inclusion working in all our activities and in our results every day. We are a more connected and collaborative organization.” In addition to the tangible results above, he also identified improvements that he deemed equally important. These included: Fantastic discretionary effort Rapid knowledge transfer People speaking up and giving authentic feedback, helping to make the plant more high performing every day

The ‘Inclusion Breakthrough Strategy’ works! We used it in a business group of 6,000+ small unit came up with eight innovative processes in one year that helped improve the unit’s profitability by $31,000,000. This book should be a practitioner’s bible.
— Karen R. Moore, AVP, Diversity & Inclusion, The Hartford FSG, Inc.