Right now, there are so many organizational and national/international dynamics happening that we can influence. It may seem like every time you login to Facebook, turn on the TV, or access any major news outlet, there’s more negativity. All of this can feel overwhelming and out of our control at times…I bet you can relate to that.
How Can We Create More Inclusive Environments? Where to Start?
In the face of these often trying times, many of us are left wondering what we can do…how to best channel our efforts to achieve lasting, positive results. If you’re reading this right now, I know you’re not the type of person who is just going to sit back and accept things as they are. Am I right?
Here are my thoughts: We can choose to focus on where we do have more influence: in our teams and classrooms. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we should forget about the bigger picture.
What it does mean is that we start where we have the strongest ability to make the greatest impact. This is especially critical at this time of year, because we must intentionally plan ways to start the fall quarter/term off right.
Inclusive Teams & Classrooms Start With Every New Hire
One way to do that is to create a fresh, more comprehensive 6-12 month orientation and onboarding program for all new staff hired within the last couple of months. This program should include a Transition Team of 3-4 people who help the new hire:
- Meet other team members and key partners
- Have lunch with and get to know their colleagues across a wide variety of differences
- Learn the unwritten norms and rules of the organization
- Find answers to the scores of questions they may have each day as they learn how to succeed in the workplace
4 More Strategies to Effectively Create Inclusive Organizations
Revisit Working Agreements and Engagement Norms as a team to identify how you have been working together effectively. This is also an excellent opportunity to set new agreements for how to increase teamwork, collaborative efforts, and productivity and minimize microaggressions and unproductive team dynamics.
Reflect on the progress of the team for the last 6-12 months and acknowledge individual and collective efforts to achieve organizational goals as well as dysfunctional, uninclusive team dynamics that undermine high performance.
Refresh the goals and objectives for the next 3-6 months to help people refocus on the key priorities and desired outcomes.
Plan 1-2 social activities for the team over the next couple of months to ensure the new staff and current employees have the opportunity to deepen working relationships across differences -outside of stressful meetings and planning sessions.
If you’d love to learn even more proven strategies and expert tips to help your organization get a head start on the best, most inclusive fall season yet, invite your colleagues and join me for an upcoming FREE webinar I’m offering: Creating Inclusive Teams and Classrooms from the Start.
At just 75 minutes, this lively webinar is designed to fit seamlessly into your busy schedule. As with all my events, it promises to be packed with engaging dialogue and useful info you can share with your colleagues and start using in your organization right away. Register here.