Cultivating leadership qualities for inclusivity is a win-win for organizations and for employees. The qualities are vital since leaders play a particularly critical role in employee well-being and perception of belonging.
According to a recent article, leaders account for a difference of up to 70 percentage points in employees’ experience of belongingness and psychological safety, and inclusive leaders see,
- A 17% increase in team performance,
- A 20% increase in decision-making quality, and
- A 29% increase in team collaboration.
- Plus, inclusive leaders also cut down employee attrition risk by 76%.
Therefore, the outcome is not only a boost for employee well-being and inclusivity, but a significant cost savings for the organizational as well as noteworthy organizational benefits. (What Makes an Inclusive Leader)
When it comes to inclusivity and well-being, critical leadership qualities are essential such as humility, respect, curiosity, and empathy.
A qualitative research project identified five key behaviors that help leaders make their organizations more inclusive:
- Authenticity and psychological safety, to create a safe and trusting work environment for all employees.
- Flexible rules and adjusting team norms rather than rigid requirements.
- Intentionality and active learning to cultivate and practice the essential qualities necessary to lead today’s organizations.
- Equal opportunity and removing obstacles.
- Embedding these qualities into all aspects, as well as levels, of the organization.
+1 (of course!) A 6th essential leadership quality and the foundation for intentional change is self-awareness.
Do not underestimate what these changes will create! Fostering these qualities will result in organizational and employee well-being. Consider your Safety and Wellness Programs, and Leadership Development Initiatives to ensure the 6 key behaviors are included. NIOSH’s Total Worker Health Model can help provide the framework.