Heather Collier

Heather Collier on the Golden Rule at DisruptHR 2024

One of Canadian Equality Consulting’s Lead Strategists, Heather Collier, attended DisruptHR YEG 10.0 in November 2023 to deliver a presentation titled, “Living by the Golden Rule Is Creating Exclusions in Your Workplace”. While the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” has long been heralded on school playgrounds and around water coolers as the best way to treat others, Heather notes that it does have its limitations in creating an inclusive culture in the workplace.

Heather notes that an important part of inclusion in the workplace is actually feeling like you belong. Her presentation explains that exclusion means being “out” – out of policies, out of the senior leaders team, and out of employee networks, among others. This is why we need to move away from the golden rule and towards the platinum: “Do unto others as they would like done to them.”

Avoiding Exclusion in the Workplace

Creating an inclusive workplace begins with robust inclusive workplace policies. The implementation of inclusive policies is a commitment to creating an environment where every employee feels valued and appreciated. These should be a living guide that reflects the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It should encompass a clear stance against discrimination, harassment, and biases while promoting equal opportunities for all.

To reinforce a culture of inclusion, organizations must invest in employee resources. Establishing support networks and mentorship programs can be instrumental in helping employees from diverse backgrounds feel welcomed and integrated into the fabric of the company. These resources can also serve as a bridge between management and employees, fostering open communication channels.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is quickly becoming a company culture best practice. DEI training can be a helpful tool in ensuring that your workplace has the DEI Strategies and insights to really ensure all employees feel included and like they belong. Prioritizing DEI training can help overcome unconscious biases, microaggressions, and the importance of cultivating an inclusive work environment.

Key Takeaways to Implement in your Workplace

  1. Prioritize Inclusive Workplace Policies: Review your organization’s policies and ensure there are no gaps or areas where certain employees could be left out. This is an important step in breaking down the systems of oppression in your workplace, but also in rebuilding systems to make them more inclusive for everyone.
  2. Invest in Employee Resources: Establish employee resource groups, employee networks, and mentorship programs to provide support, guidance, and a sense of belonging to employees from diverse backgrounds. 
  3. Embrace DEI Training: Actively engage in Canadian Equality Consulting’s DEI training programs to embrace and understand a variety of social identities. Diversity training can shed new light on a wide range of topics, including ensuring fair treatment and unconscious bias training. Training can also pave the way for your leadership team to lay the groundwork for new inclusion practices and company policies.
  4. Promote Open Communication: Foster an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing concerns or providing feedback. Employee engagement encourages team members to fully invest in inclusion efforts, both for their peers and themselves. Open communication is essential in addressing issues promptly, improving employee experience, and creating a culture of transparency. It also allows you to get to know your team members better, builds empathy, and fosters stronger working relationships.

For more tips, watch Heather’s presentation!

An inclusive workplace is an ongoing journey. By implementing these key takeaways, your organization can build a workplace where diversity is celebrated, equity is championed, and inclusion is embedded in the company’s DNA. Embrace the power of an inclusive workplace culture for a brighter, more innovative future.

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