People seek guidance from leadership during difficult times, especially with the current events of a global pandemic and the peaceful march to fight for equality, fairness, and justice. At the workplace, our leadership team has a strong influence to build and nurture diverse and inclusive teams, to be more collaborative and make impactful change together.
Some companies have Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to educate and bring awareness of different cultural backgrounds, such as African American, Asian Pacific Islander, LGBTQ, Veterans, etc. These groups are driven by employees wanting to make a difference and build a community of support for personal and professional growth at the workplace. They bring awareness of their cultural background, barriers, and common biases they face, internally and externally. Although the groups may be employee-driven, the leadership team has an influence to provide support and encourage more diverse collaboration amongst their peers and within the organization.
When we focus on personal development to understand our natural tendencies and unconscious biases, we become more aware of how to be intentional and create a trusting and liberating environment. As various ERGs share their barriers and support to each other for career advancement, the leadership team can be more conscious in their decision-making process and be aware of their unconscious biases.
Although equality and fairness is part of a company’s culture and value, it is the leadership team that will determine how equality and fairness is portrayed to their employees. It is okay for a company to say, ‘our company’s culture and value is not a good fit for you.’
By being aware of our natural tendencies and being more intentional with our actions and reactions, it will contribute to an impactful change for the individual, not only at the workplace, but also in their personal life.