What matters for a culture of inclusion?

What matters for a culture of inclusion?

I really enjoyed article by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss from their book “Move Fast and Fix Things: The Trusted Leader’s Guide to Solving Hard Problems.”

? The focus is on inclusion and how it can fix “the common information” problem. => “Inclusion gives us access to everyone’s unique information, not just the information we happen to share.”

They argue that a culture of inclusion has 4 levels, as shown here:

1️⃣ Safe. “People feel physically, emotionally and psychologically safe in the workplace, regardless of who they are.”

2️⃣ Welcome. “People feel welcome in the workplace throughout the entire HR life cycle, regardless of who they are; they can bring an authentic version of themselves to shared workspaces without penalty.”

3️⃣ Celebrated. “People feel celebrated in the workplace because of who they are; they are rewarded for contributing their unique information, ideas, and perspectives to advance the organization’s goals.”

4️⃣ Championed. “A culture of inclusion permeates the organization; inclusion is seen as an ethical and competitive imperative, and there is minimal variability in the experience of belonging across individuals, teams, and functions.”

? Here’s the link: https://buff.ly/3NvSMm4

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Trust and motivation at work: seven key factors

What matters for trust?

Susanne Jacobs’ model of trust, from her book “DRIVERS – Creating Trust and Motivation at Work” identifies seven key factors:

1️⃣ Direction – purpose and meaning
2️⃣ Relative position – a sense you contribution is valued
3️⃣ Inclusion – belonging and connection
4️⃣ Voice and choice – some say over decisions that affect you
5️⃣ Equity – respect and fairness
6️⃣ Reliability – certainty and security
7️⃣ Stretch – learning and growth.

? Get these right and you can head down a performance path that is based on trust and safety. => You will set people up to Thrive.

? Get them wrong, and people will be fearful and threatened. => A workforce may enter Survive mode.

? Susanne highlights the importance of perceptions. “Our perception about what is happening to the DRIVERS can shift, determining whether our brain interprets them to be safe or under threat. This interpretation is designed to drive our behaviour towards safety and away from danger. It is the basis of whether we engage or disengage.”

? Find the book here: https://buff.ly/3uJGW0Z

This infographic comes from a report by Unum. The eagle-eyed will notice that it has 8 factors since it lists voice and choice separately (it’s an earlier version of the model).

hashtag#Trust hashtag#Leadership hashtag#Voice hashtag#Purpose hashtag#EmployeeExperience hashtag#EmployeeEngagement hashtag#EX hashtag#HR hashtag#Inclusion hashtag#PsychologicalSafety hashtag#BehavioralScienceActivate to view larger image,

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How important is human capital?

How important is human capital?

That’s the question Dan Ariely asks in his work on The Human Capital Factor™.

? Unsurprisingly, he finds human capital matters a lot for business performance and that’s the case across industries, not just for e.g., knowledge work.

In terms of what’s important for people and jobs, he highlights:
✔ Task satisfaction
✔ Feeling appreciated
✔ Psychological safety
✔ And “the degree to which companies provide the conditions where employees can align their own utility with that of the company and its stakeholders.”

He argues there are two building blocks for a strong Human Capital Factor overall:

1️⃣ Motivating Goodwill – “the range between the minimum effort required by an employee to keep their job and the maximum effort possible by that employee if they’re fully engaged in their role.”

2️⃣ Utility Alignment – “the willingness of employees to execute tasks that are aimed at the wider benefit of the company.”

When you get both, you have Aligned Effort and high Value Creation (as shown in the 2×2 here).

The alignment piece is interesting. It’s something we see in our work, but it’s often missing from discussions of employee engagement. (We sometimes refer to it as “cognitive commitment”.)

? Read his new article on all this here: https://buff.ly/3N0wmsY

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How can you combine systems thinking and design thinking?

How can you combine systems thinking and design thinking?

That’s the question explored in this fab article by Ketut Sulistyawati.

? “We attempt to combine the best of both worlds — uniting the analytical tools of systems thinking with the creative methods of design thinking.”

? Begin by mapping the current state:
1️⃣ Define the problem & map the system
2️⃣ Research & listen to the system
3️⃣ Synthesize & remap the system
4️⃣ Reframe the problem & identify leverage points.

?Then envision the future:
5️⃣ Brainstorm ideas and design levers
6️⃣ Prototype & test solutions
7️⃣ Implement the transition
8️⃣ Measure & get feedback.

✔ Plus keep a watch out for unintended consequences.

Love this.

Read the article here: “A Framework to Embed Systems Thinking into Design Thinking Process” https://buff.ly/3S4an7Q

hashtag#Leadership hashtag#DesignThinking hashtag#SystemsThinking hashtag#EX hashtag#PsychologicalSafety hashtag#EmployeeExperience hashtag#CX hashtag#BehavioralScience hashtag#Innovation hashtag#UX hashtag#DecisionMaking hashtag#InclusionActivate to view larger image,

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What really matters for employee engagement?

What really matters for employee engagement? What does the research say…?

? Here are five keys, based on WTW research into what engaging managers actually do:

? Really know the people who work for you – understand their experiences, motivations and interests

? Have an interest in helping people learn to do new things in new and better ways (this isn’t about formal training, it’s about a coaching mindset and encouragement)

? Inspire people; not through slogans and posters on the wall, but in practical ways that provide a sense of purpose (e.g. customer interaction and feedback)

? Involve people through building line of sight and business literacy, and by providing access to fresh information (transparency) and by being inclusive

? Recognise people’s contribution: a “Sincere Well-Informed Timely Thank You” is a powerful thing (but many managers struggle with this).

? The list comes from the book “Closing the Engagement Gap: How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential for Superior Results” by Julie Gebauer and Don Lowman.

? Julie leads the Heath, Wealth, and Careers team at WTW. You can learn more about this and other research we’ve done on employee engagement here: https://buff.ly/46iUjUc

? The best managers in my experience do all these things and more. What would you add to the list?

hashtag#EmployeeEngagement hashtag#Leadership hashtag#EmployeeExperience hashtag#Empathy hashtag#HR hashtag#PeopleManagement hashtag#EmotionalIntelligence hashtag#Trust hashtag#BadManagersSuck hashtag#Coaching hashtag#PsychologicalSafety hashtag#EX hashtag#FutureOfWork hashtag#OrganizationalCulture hashtag#BehavioralScienceActivate to view larger image,

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How can you measure “belonging”?

How can you measure “belonging”? There’s a lot of talk about it being important and I’ve seen organisations try different approaches.

? This good-humoured research paper by Saga Pardede, Nicolay Gausel, and Magnhild Mjåvatn Høie explores various models and in the end comes up with three dimensions they termed: “belongingness,” “emotion-acceptance,” and “social self-representation.”

☑ Belongingness gets at the need to feel part of something.

☑ Emotion-acceptance is feeling able to express one’s emotions around others.

☑ Social self-representation reflects a need to represent oneself as a person of worth.

(I am summarising quite a bit here!)

They also looked at correlations, and “belongingness” had a positive relationship with both “emotion-acceptance” and with “social self-representation.”

? This means that the more one feels the need to belong, the more one feels the need to be accepted for one’s emotions and to be allowed to share them with others.

? This sits well with other work on how the need to belong is fulfilled through emotion-sharing and reciprocal connectedness.

I found this useful. Are there things here you might be able to put into practice? e.g. I like the item about being able to express your emotions around others (we already use the question about “being myself”).

Here’s the paper: https://buff.ly/3QlFgmB

Reference: Pardede S, Gausel N and Høie MM (2021) Revisiting the “The Breakfast Club”: Testing Different Theoretical Models of Belongingness and Acceptance (and Social Self-Representation). Front. Psychol. 11:604090. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.604090

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What really matters for wellbeing and, in particular, for sparking improvement actions?

What really matters for wellbeing and, in particular, for sparking improvement actions?

? Our research points to the importance of social connection.

The article (linked below) is a great summary by my colleagues Natalia and Steve. It focuses on the connections between wellbeing dimensions and explores what really matters for taking action.

? We define the ideal state of wellbeing as one “where the employee is physically thriving, financially secure, emotionally balanced and socially connected.”

? When you look at the links between those 4 dimensions, it’s clear that employees with high levels of wellbeing in one area tend to report high levels of wellbeing in the others.

✔ An effective way to improve wellbeing in any dimension is to take targeted actions in that specific area.

? But when employees combine actions in multiple areas, the benefits (in terms of wellbeing improvements) are larger still.

? In fact, employees who take actions in all wellbeing areas are three times more likely to be thriving (i.e., achieving high wellbeing levels in all dimensions) than those who take no actions.

⚙ But what makes employees more likely to take actions? The analysis finds that levels of social wellbeing are a key catalyst to encouraging employees to take actions.

? As the figure here shows, employees who are “socially connected” are more likely to take action to improve their wellbeing in all dimensions.

A useful reminder of how important the social element is for sparking behaviour change.

Read the article here: https://buff.ly/3QkehYW

hashtag#WellBeing hashtag#EmployeeExperience hashtag#Connection hashtag#SocialWellbeing hashtag#Leadership hashtag#HR hashtag#EX hashtag#EmployeeEngagement hashtag#PeopleAnalytics hashtag#BehavioralScience hashtag#WTW hashtag#BehaviorChange hashtag#FutureOfWork hashtag#PsychologicalSafetyActivate to view larger image,

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How’s your Emotional Energy and how charged are your Moral Batteries?

How’s your Emotional Energy and how charged are your Moral Batteries?

Emotions in the workplace is a hot topic. However, a lot of stuff on LinkedIn and in general focuses on the individual. As a social scientist by background I like how this paper draws on concepts from sociology as well.

=> “People are inherently social–emotional and embedded within organizations and institutions.”

The paper highlights the importance of:

=> Collective emotions: common feelings as a result of shared experiences.

=> Emotional energy, which operates as a continuum ranging from ”good-self feelings’ to ‘negative self-feelings’.

=> Moral batteries: “positive and negative emotions which motivate action away from an unattractive state and towards an attractive one.”

=> Emotional capital: resources that shape behavioural dispositions that may be seen as desirable or undesirable within a social group.

Here’s to more work on understanding and improving situational mechanisms and social bonds.

And here’s the link to the paper: https://buff.ly/3JYZtLq

Citation: Zhang, R., Voronov, M., Toubiana, M., Vince, R. and Hudson, B.A. (2023), Beyond the Feeling Individual: Insights from Sociology on Emotions and Embeddedness. J. Manage. Stud.. https://buff.ly/3pPXpi6

** I associate “moral batteries” with work on social movements, and prefer this definition from James Jasper: “Pairs of emotions, one positive and the other negative, which draw people toward one pole as they repel them from the other” e.g. pride and shame.

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What does it take to build a High-Performance Employee Experience?

What does it take to build a High-Performance Employee Experience?

This is our HPEX “blueprint” that’s based on a lot of research we’ve done.

=> There are 4 key areas for EX: Purpose, People, Work, and Total Rewards.

=> There are some aspects of these that are foundational. I often call them “brilliant basics”. These include having a supportive boss and understanding how your work fits in to the bigger picture.

=> Then there are areas where good companies emphasise an advantage over the pack. What’s interesting is that they mostly relate to inclusion and involvement. (This is one reason why I write a lot about these topics.)

=> And finally there are aspects where top companies stand out, including drive and inspiration, growth and trust.

We measure EX this way and provide organisations with a scorecard that’s aligned to their ambition.

We also design, prototype and implement solutions that spark behaviour change and create lasting impact.

=> One approach that’s very powerful for this is digital, personalised communication, which our Embark software delivers.

You can learn more about our research and approach here: https://buff.ly/48c0evk or you can just contact me.

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How can you involve people when designing changes?

The Systemic Design Practice Wheel guides practitioners taking creative and participatory approaches to complex problems. Designed by Emma Blomkamp, it distils experience and knowledge from research, evaluation, education and practice in design for public and social innovation.

The five core domains (5 Ps) of the wheel are:
=> Principles: Why and how does this work need to happen? What matters most?
=> Place: Where does this work fit? When is it happening? Which level are we working at?
=> Process: How will we organise our approach? What are the key moments?
=> People: Who needs to be involved? What do they bring? What do they need?
=> Practice: What specific methods, techniques and tools will we use?

The focus is on “systemic co-design”. Although it was developed for public and social policy, it has far broader application, e.g., for building design thinking into employee experience and for managing many other projects.

I love “collecting” ideas and tools like this.

This canvas is available on Emma Blomkamp’s website, which is full of great materials and you can find it here: https://buff.ly/44XXoYC

You can read more about the approach here as well: Emma Blomkamp (2022) “Systemic design practice for participatory policymaking,” Policy Design and Practice, 5:1, 12-31 https://buff.ly/44SNQOG

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