Why equality matters

Alan Burman
in Insights

The latest legislation provides our island with a new model for how we do business. It also provides a new legal framework to protect people from discrimination.

What will the Equality Act do for IOM business?

It will help businesses create a more supportive workplace environment. This will help businesses attract new talent and will also help them to retain employees. A successful workplace environment is an essential part of workplace satisfaction, helping employees to feel valued.

The Equality Act will also create a new framework for the offering of products and services. This will help businesses to provide products and services that meet a diverse range of needs, which will help to ensure customer satisfaction and break into new market segments.

It’s widely acknowledged that businesses that adopt an equalitarian approach to diversity will gain a competitive edge in the coming years. Not only will this approach help the Isle of Man to attract a more diverse workforce and remain in good standing globally, it will also help to encourage what is known as ‘inclusive leadership.’

What is inclusive leadership?

Inclusive leadership is a popular topic now, with many businesses adopting the practice to help increase efficiency. At its crux, it’s a principle which helps leaders to increase their employees’ engagement and overall job satisfaction.  

By creating a workplace environment that includes people of all different types, employees aren’t left feeling abandoned or left out. This helps to create strong teams where employees feel connected to each other, encouraging the sense of belonging. It’s believed that if the need for belonging is met, people will work significantly harder and enjoy greater satisfaction at work. This ultimately sets a strong foundation, reducing employee turnover and making the environment more enticing for new recruits.

But how does a leader adopt inclusivity? It’s not just about open arms and a friendly smile - it requires a leader to be more understanding, recognising how people feel and learn, and to consider their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Most importantly, though, it’s about making sure no one feels like they’re treated with bias.

How to be a more inclusive leader?

Ask people how they’re feeling
Be sensitive to their needs
Provide employees with a safe space to express themselves
Treat staff equally and fairly
Compliment staff on work well done, however small
Encourage feedback loops and peer referrals
Understand unconscious bias
Unconscious bias

Unconscious bias can take many forms and it’s not always expressed negatively. It’s believed that we all hold some form of unconscious bias about others – this could be regarding age, race, class or gender, and many other things in-between. It could be as small as assuming that someone who’s older is more capable due to experience – this could lead to an employer giving them slightly more work than their colleagues, based on this assumption alone.

By highlighting our own unconscious biases, we’re able to treat people as individuals and allow everyone to feel valued based on their own capabilities. This makes people feel appreciated as individuals whilst also feeling equally respected.

A happy team produce better work

Equality, inclusivity and a lack of bias help to produce a positive and loyal team. This is essential for a business that wants to hold on to their employees but also helps them to remain competitive in the job market.

Want to know more? Join us on 28th February for the first Future Works event:
Equipping Leaders to Champion Diversity with inclusion speaker Hayley Barnard, Founder of MIX Diversity Developers, executive coach and artic explorer.

Register (for free) now at http://futureworksim.eventbrite.com 

Author: Alan Burman

Accountant, entrepreneur and Exec recruiter, there's not much Alan doesn't know about business. Enjoys gardening and tennis but not at the same time.

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