| | DECEMBER 20199FOCUSING ON INCLUSION IN YOUR WORKPLACE WILL NOT ONLY HELP YOUR PEOPLE FEEL VALUED AND COMFORTABLE AT WORK, BUT IT WILL HELP INCREASE EMPLOYEE WELLBEING, ENGAGEMENT, INNOVATION, AND ULTIMATELY BOOST COMPANY PERFORMANCEHowever, Equality, diversity and inclusion is an abstract area and a lot of us in Human Resources are not able to wrap our heads around this, especially the one who are more comfortable with data, num-bers, and facts. There is a risk too of treating the EDI as a trivial mat-ter and not treat it like a business imperative. HR's role is to lead and influence diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a department servicing the wider organisation, it is imperative to drive these poli-cies that will identify talent and di-verse individuals that will take the organisation forward. These are things that worked for the British Council, Shared Service Centre:1. Focus on Creating a Strong Governance: We real-ized that our parent organisation has way and means through which we can measure our performance on creating the right culture. We decided to adopt all that we could. We understood the local context, setup regular meetings with the global diversity unit, ensured that the board has a substantive agen-da to discuss every time it meets, and setup an internal team to drive mainstreaming. 2. Measure What You Do: British Council measures EDI mainstreaming as a `Diversity As-sessment Framework' score across 10 parameters ranging from Es-sential to Good Practice. Every op-eration in the network is assessed every two years. We decided to participate in the assessment and have done very well in the scoring because of our strong governance.3. Mainstream EDI in the DNA of the Organisation: Brit-ish Council is an organisation that focuses on building strong cultural relations between the UK and the world. They believe in mainstream-ing EDI in all the cultural relations work that they do. This means that that there is a strong focus on mainstreaming it internally as well. There are several ways and tools available to do this. Equality screening impact assessment tool ensures that every major change in a policy or process is screened for a possible positive impact on EDI and any negative impact is miti-gated. Similarly, there are others such as the Living Library ­ The `Books' are people who have experi-enced prejudice, social exclusion or stigma, and they are `borrowed' by `readers' who can ask any question they like on that topic.4. Make the Employees Un-derstand EDI through Fun & En-gagement: We found that people engaged well with EDI when hav-ing fun with the concept. Quizzes on floor, videos, stand-up comedy, and games make the floor a lively place while telling the employees about basics of EDI. 5. Find Volunteers: People love giving back to the society and do extremely well when a platform is provided by the organisation. They feel more engaged and achieve self fulfilment. They take it up as their own responsibility. We have had cases where some employees start-ed a school for underprivileged children, participated in cleanli-ness and education drives.Overall, there is a strong case for diversity in organisations and a stronger one for having a frame-work in place to mainstream it. Focusing on inclusion in your workplace will not only help your people feel valued and comfortable at work, but it will help increase employee wellbeing, engagement, innovation, and ultimately boost company performance. Pooja Malhotra
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