"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses inclusion at work, and how it is better for both wellbeing and business.
By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea
Most of us spend much of our daily life at work, so it’s not surprising that our job and the environment we work in has a strong influence on our overall health and wellbeing.
Whether we feel accepted, included, and safe can play a significant role in how we feel about where we work, and thereby how we feel about ourselves. Inclusivity is more important than ever, not just at work, but throughout our day-to-day lives. Being inclusive is about more than ticking the right boxes. Professionally, it means constantly working to foster a work environment where people feel respected, connected, that they can progress, and are contributing to the overall success of the company or organisation they work for.
I’m proud to share this week that Diversity Council Australia recognised IMPACT Community Services as one of 30 Inclusive Employers for 2022-23. As members of DCA we were assessed against several criteria and benchmarks, and learned areas where we excel in equality and diversity and areas where there is room to improve. We’re thrilled that in most areas, we are exceeding national benchmarks around employee satisfaction on inclusion and diversity.
As an organisation focused on improving lives, we are on a journey to greater understanding of what is means to be inclusive. Participating in the Diversity Council Australia’s Inclusive Employer Index allows us to identify areas where we can focus our energies.
We know that there is still work to do. Everyone has a valuable contribution to make, and we will continue having conversations with our team around how we can improve as an organisation to continue to embrace diversity and be more inclusive.
Inclusion is so much more than just a buzz word or feel-good exercise – it’s good business and good for mental health and wellbeing. An inclusive culture fosters a happier work environment that fosters effectiveness, innovation, better customer service and higher employee satisfaction.
We are all responsible for being inclusive, so I encourage you to educate yourself about and be open to other people’s lived experiences. Consider the barriers you put in place between yourself and people you perceive to be different than you, then do the work required to challenge them and tear them down.