Every advancement since the dawn of time is the result of someone questioning the present state of a process or occurrence.
Take the wheel for example:
“Why did it take you so long to get here?” “Well, I only have two feet . . .”
That was the advent of Qualitative Analysis, the desire to seek balance in the form of a tangible solution by exploring the intangible qualities of a given situation.
Identifying the existence of a challenge or opportunity is an all important first step in the process. Determining what adjustments to make or actions to implement . . . well, that’s the part that can give us trouble.
Understanding the pragmatic value of “what” is critical to maintaining the health and well-being of your work environment . . . especially as it relates to providing a workplace that is truly safe, supportive, and inclusive for all.
You have the key . . .
Voices, I Hear Voices
Beyond their role as valued members of a team, employees represent a cross-section of society with unlimited access to the ebb and flow of information from news media, social apps, and other forms of mass communication.
Most of this information is not positive; labeling it negative may be harsh, but it certainly leaves a lot more questions than answers.
In the absence of structure, an employee is at liberty to determine how this information, being positive or negative, will influence behavior and guide their judgement moving forward.
Traditional training programs related to topics such as inclusion, diversity, bias, and fair treatment posit that if a situation or condition could happen, it probably will or already does.
They do little, if anything, to promote a purposeful culture, or recognize that any impact on engagement is not predicted by these external influences, but rather how your employees process them.
Prioritizing culture by aligning people, processes, and strategies with a return to their original choice, changes the lens through which employees view their role in an organization.
Internal communications and daily reinforcements embody an emotional connection to your brand. Your team is seen as a big family, protective of its members, and more immune to external influences that go against cherished values and beliefs.
Current societal events may then be addressed through open and transparent discussion, a collaborative effort to recognize their existence and to resist any negative impact on the health of your work environment.
Exploring An Original Choice
I recently met with the managing director of a firm whose team was considering training options within the DEI genre.
Not happy with the spectrum of resources identified through an extended web search, he asked me how I approached the seemingly sensitive topic.
I shared my preference for a technique that begins with asking a simple question:
“Why did you choose to work here?”
Regardless of where the journey has taken you, returning to your original choice simplifies your perspective, slicing through layers of distraction and emotion to reconnect with shared values, goals, and ambitions.
These serve as your strengths, a collection of connective tissue powerful enough to withstand the noise from external influences and promote stability, positivity, and growth.
And when those strengths are identified within a workforce, opportunities to discover new ways of achieving common goals become endless.
Which continues with asking a complimentary set of “what” questions.
What Do You Expect?
There is a natural cadence of asking, “Why did you choose to work here?” followed by, “What do you expect?”
Expect some of the more baseline responses, such as fair pay, job security, respect, good leaders, opportunities to learn, grow, and develop.
What this provides is an opportunity to ensure you have processes in place to meet these minimum expectations. Several federal and state guidelines apply to identifying, selecting, and compensating talent, so most of the framework should already be in place.
Beyond that, take inventory of resources embedded within your environment that enable your team to connect emotionally with your culture, i.e., internal communications channels, talent selection and advancement protocols, performance reviews, personal development training, etc.
Please note that this satisfies a commitment to meet basic expectations. Loyalty is generated once you take steps to exceed those expectations.
What Matters Most to You?
This second level question works to promote Empathic Empowerment by understanding what truly matters most to your team, driving emotional engagement and elevating a stronger sense of self-confidence among all levels of an organization.
It is a cornerstone to establishing a Culture of Excellence Through Intention, minimizing the influence of threats and distractions through an assurance of transparency . . . what matters most to you, matters most to me.
Of course, this circles back to making these “what” questions a standard protocol within your talent selection process.
But what it also does is unleash the entire catalog of “co” words: collaborate, communicate, confidence, compliment, cooperate, conscience, cohabitate . . . the list of proactive behaviors goes on and on.
This creates a network of emotions that insulates your environment from the turbulence of society, preserving clarity of thought and allowing you to work through periods of growth and understanding together, as a team.
Unity Over Conformity
Nothing within this dialogue should excuse the fact that we have a lot of work to do as a society.
Maintain a proactive spirit; never advocate turning a blind eye to humanity’s struggles with imbalance based on race, gender, faith, or preference.
We have a responsibility as leaders to remain aware of the challenges faced outside of an immediate circle, so we can one day achieve the level of community we’re capable of on a local, national, and global scale.
Which is why we’re adding a new workshop to our TSHAMRELL 2022 Catalog of Services: What Matters Most? Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion In Your Work Environment.
Progress is our intended goal.
Your actions to embrace diversity and promote equity and inclusion among a workforce empowers individuals with the strength and confidence to do the same in their personal lives.
Suddenly, simple acts of transparency demonstrate the potential for the rest of society to follow suit, changing the world for the better . . . one step at a time.
A Breeding Ground for Enlightened Behavior
Since we have established that an organization represents a cross-section of society, it can also serve as a breeding ground for conscious and enlightened behavior.
Begin with returning to the origins of choice. Ask your team a very basic question: Why did you choose to work here?
It’s a solid question and should generate a catalog of responses that reflect values promoted within your culture and work environment.
Your next step is the first of two “what” questions: What do you expect?
This cadence driven inquiry provides you a snapshot of necessities, day-to-day elements of a work routine that support security, respect, and opportunity.
The final piece is present within your second “what”: What matters most to you?
This unleashes a level of emotional engagement that defines and refines your approach to equity and inclusion. Committing to complete transparency insulates your team from the turbulence of society and fosters the presence of perhaps the most notable “co” behavior: community.
This is Tall Tim, and I am At Your Service!