Are you an inclusive leader? | Epiphany

The most effective leaders are able to find ways for all of their employees to be involved in the planning and execution of key projects and change initiatives… and it’s paying off.

A 2011 study conducted by Business In The Community (link) showed that 84% of people that had an inclusive leader were more motivated in their roles, and 81% improved their performance and productivity.

Inclusive leadership supports learning, not punishment

By treating setbacks and mistakes as learning opportunities, inclusive leaders make their employees more comfortable under pressure and more open to feedback.

When employees aren’t intimidated by performance reviews or informal meetings, they are much better at receiving, processing, and acting on feedback.

Inclusive leadership reinforces values and purpose

Managers can often push projects to their employees without an explanation of how their work fits into the company’s larger purpose. This can leave employees feeling unmotivated, confused, and devalued.

By reinforcing the importance of each project to the company’s goals and values, inclusive leaders make their team’s work relevant and meaningful.

In addition, when companies practice inclusive leadership, everyone sees themselves as working towards the same goal – in this way, a front-line worker and CEO both have a responsibility to uphold the company culture and values.

This is evident in organizations with a very strong culture, like Zappos, Google, and Rotary International.

Ways leaders can include their employees more

  • Provide context for meetings and decisions, which helps people see your point of view and creates a shared understanding for your conversation
  • Ask for feedback from the people you work with as often as possible.
  • Have regular conversations with your people, and get to know what motivates them

Inclusive leadership isn’t a technique that will necessarily reduce imperfections within your company, but it will help things go right more often. When your people are comfortable receiving feedback and have a sense of purpose with their work, they will be more motivated to bring their best selves to work, no matter what.