Bringing Inclusion to an Individual Level
Meaningful change cannot always be achieved with a broad brush. Sometimes, we have to zoom in and start creating change with individual strokes. In other words, big-picture changes involving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) may not always be effective, and it could be necessary for company leaders to develop inclusion competency plans with individuals. While this may seem like a daunting prospect, this type of personalized planning and goal-setting has proven to be highly effective. Just look at schools and their IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) which are designed to cater to students’ unique needs.
Benefits of Individual Inclusion Competency Plans
Developing individual inclusion competency plans has numerous benefits for both employees and organizations. By shifting focus from broad, company-wide strategies to individual goals, leaders can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment. Let’s explore the benefits in more detail:
- Personalized Goals: With individual inclusion competency plans, leaders can develop smaller and more personal goals for employees. This allows employees to focus on areas that directly impact them and their experience within the organization. These personalized goals foster a sense of ownership and motivation, leading to greater engagement and productivity.
- Accountability: Individual inclusion competency plans also promote accountability. When employees have clearly defined goals and expectations, they are more likely to actively work towards achieving them. This level of accountability not only benefits the individual but also contributes to a culture of transparency and trust within the organization.
- Metrics for Progress: Inclusion competency plans require the establishment of measurable metrics to track progress. By monitoring key indicators, leaders can identify areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments. This data-driven approach (which we’ve discussed in past blog posts) ensures that efforts towards inclusivity are effective and enables organizations to continuously evolve and adapt their strategies.
Implementation Challenges and Solutions
While implementing individual inclusion competency plans may seem challenging, organizations can take certain steps to ensure success. Here are some common challenges and their corresponding solutions:
- Resistance to Change: Resistance to change is a common hurdle when introducing new initiatives. To overcome this, organizations need to communicate the benefits of individual inclusion competency plans clearly. It is crucial to emphasize how this approach can lead to a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.
- Leadership Buy-In: Without leadership buy-in, it can be difficult to implement any new initiative successfully. Organizations must ensure that leaders are actively involved in the development and implementation of individual inclusion competency plans. This includes providing necessary training and resources to equip leaders with the tools needed to support their employees effectively.
- Tracking Progress: Tracking progress is essential to ensure that individual inclusion competency plans are having the intended impact. Organizations can utilize technology tools and platforms to streamline data collection and analysis. Additionally, fostering a culture of open feedback and regular check-ins can help keep employees and leaders aligned on progress and areas for improvement.
Bringing inclusion to an individual level through individual inclusion competency plans can offer significant benefits for both employees and organizations. Though the creation and implementation of these plans will take some time and strategic planning up front, the long-term benefits can be tremendous. How can your leadership team start implementing individual inclusion competency plans in your organization?