Inclusion and Diversity: Are We Approaching it the Right Way?

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.

Today’s guests are Joe Gerstandt, Diversity & Inclusion Speaker, Author and Advisor and Wally Hauck, Employee Engagement Expert and Facilitator of Change, Optimum Leadership. To hear the entire show, find it on the TalentTalk Podcast, iHeart Radio and iTunes.


Joe Gerstandtjoe-gerstandt

What is inclusion?

If you go into organizations inclusion is a vague and abstract idea. Missing the clarity of what inclusion means for our organization and when that clarity is missing it is hard to measure. Helps leaders find that clarity on what specifically it means for their organization and then from that measuring inclusion is easier to measure. Technology has changed the rules for inclusion. The workforce continues to get more diverse and complex. 

Diverse means difference.

Making sure we understand difference and how it impacts us is a good place to start. Inclusion can be understood a few different ways- the work of inclusion and the experience of being included. The work of inclusion is the things we do to remove barriers to participation and belonging. Whether they are intentional or unintentional. Beyond that you need to have language and frame work, what is the objective, for understanding what the experience of being included means. How will we know when we get there? What will it look like? What kinds of behaviors, policy, practices lead to being included?

There are organizations that do some of this best are talking about this as innovation or improvement. They have a good relationship with conflict and seek out a diversity of perspective and opinions. Diversity of thought and perspective are hard to measure but an indicator of this is the diversity of identity. If your organization truly values different perspectives, it’s easier for people to look and think differently to belong there.

Larger organizations often times have more expertise, resources, and more experience with diversity in the workplace. When you get down to a certain size of organization it’s a harder goal to reach.

Its very important to have an intentional and proactive relationship with difference. It’s a value to see difference as an opportunity. Leaders today are quick to say they did it because there are expectations that they are diverse. It shouldn’t be seen as something to overcome but a topic of value to companies. This is commonly misunderstood in the workplace. As more people become more involved in the conversation it helps move diversity in the right direction.

 Advantage fundamentals:

  • Being able to reach out to the largest market possible.
  • Variety of talent means a variety of people, their knowledge and experiences.
  • Opportunities to have better performance in the workplace. The feeling of being included and valued produces better work and workplace while having healthy conflict. Provides better solutions and innovation.

Wally Hauck Wally Hauck

Employee Performance Evaluation- A Shift in Facilitating Change

Wally helps leaders “wake up” to help engage employees. Good leaders need to give good feedback. Wally works with leaders on a performance management system that are different. The typical performance review is destroying the potential of the organization. There is a lot of potential in the review but organizations need to address it with a better way of engagement.

Keys to facilitate change: Values and Systems Model

Values can be defined as behaviors you want in your workplace culture. You operationalize behaviors.  One way is to be aware of and manage your agreements. Everyone self-manages daily agreements. Its about managing process and context.

Systems in place allow everyone to manage their own handoffs.

Communicate with customers and employees to find what more they need and what can they do better.

Wally reminds us that in performance evaluations it is important to self reflect- what can I do? What change can I make to change the process.

A shift in thinking needs to happen. Quick adjustments allow for immediate improvement. Manage the context instead of trying to manage the people and it will benefit the end result. Wally further comments that we’ve moved away from our basic principals of freedom. How much freedom does an employee have at work? Policy after policy bombards employees. We’ve moved away from a self-organizing system. The Constitution sets up a self-organizing or self-management system that we see in nature. Principals that are set in nature such as birds flocking together, bees, ants, these systems function well. Uber is an example of a self-organizing system based on sound principals. It provides structure and context that allows a self-organizing system to function well.

Change doesn’t necessarily need to happen from the top down. Leadership and change can occur anywhere in the organization. Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point illustrates this.