This lesson introduces key aspects of working inclusively. It will help you to explore your role in actively including others
This course includes seven lessons, which you can access flexibly. You're free to go at your own pace. The content has been designed so that you can dip into individual lessons which typically take 30-45 minutes if you complete all the content and reflective activities.
The full course provides comprehensive learning on the theme which equates to the content covered on a one-day face-to-face course. We therefore believe this can play a significant part in your professional development journey.
You may choose to complete this course all by yourself. But, you'll get more out of the learning with some support. So, speak to your manager, coach or mentor to help you decide the best way forward. You could review the learning at the same time as a few colleagues, for instance. This will allow you to share your different thoughts and opinions.
Remember, you’re also part of our wider community, with its vast range of experience. So, complete the reflective activities and get involved in the community discussions. Share your unique perspective. We are all there to support each other.
In essence, what matters is that you get as much out of the learning as you can. Take your time to reflect on and apply the key messages in your context. Watch the videos more than once, if possible, and make notes in the downloadable workbook as you go along. Before you know it, you’ll put the learning into practice and making a real impact in your role.
Mapping to the standards
This course maps to the Chartered level of the Working inclusively standards. If you just want to gain an introduction to these standards at the Foundation level we recommend that you watch the video below.
This short, animated video provides an overview of the key elements of this core behaviour. It brings to life the five statements at Foundation level for Working inclusively in the CIPD Profession Map:
- Show sensitivity and respect to others
- Demonstrate openness to diverse views and opinions
- Build positive working relationships with immediate colleagues
- Share data and information to inform work in your area
- Handle difficult situations calmly and contribute to finding a way forward
View the transcript
We join this meeting just as the chair, Judith, is setting the scene. She explains that the purpose of the meeting is to get ideas for a new, global, induction programme for new employees.
She acknowledges that many people present wouldn’t have met before, so she asks them to introduce themselves.
She notices that, when people do their introductions, some are listening actively while others are talking to each other or checking their phones.
Little attention is paid to the people who are dialling in, one of whom has a hearing impairment and is struggling to hear what’s going on.
Arnaud [one of the participants] comments that he hopes the organisation will show more respect to new joiners than they are showing each other in this meeting. The organisation has employees all over the world with different professional specialisations, different cultural expectations and with very different personal circumstances. The new programme has to provide everyone with a great initial experience of the company.
Working inclusively means showing sensitivity and respect to others.
In this meeting, this behaviour was demonstrated patchily at best. Let's hope that participants on the new global induction programme will have a better experience, particularly as they’ll have different cultural expectations.
Judith makes clear that this is an exploratory meeting and it would be great to have a range of views from as many perspectives as possible.
She notices that some people push their ideas forward while others stay quiet or back away when they are interrupted, or their ideas are dismissed.
Anika [one of the participants who is dialling in] points out that there seem to be no employee representatives at the meeting – no-one to put the view of the new starter. She suggests they set up a focus group with people who’ve recently joined the organisation, so they can put forward ideas and give feedback on the new plans.
Leonardo [another participant] is quick to rubbish this on the basis that all she will get is complaints and that nothing constructive ever comes out of them. But Judith swiftly intervenes to make clear that all ideas are welcome at this point and that now is not the time for making judgements.
Working inclusively means demonstrating openness to diverse views and opinions.
Again, there are good and bad signs in the meeting, but the idea to provide an employee voice on the plans for the new programme is definitely a big step forward.
The discussion continues.
Jeanette [another participant] makes the point that what is critical for new starters is to make friends early. The new programme should make that as easy as possible. So pure self-study is unlikely to be enough.
Arnaud builds on this in a very positive way by saying that an all face-to-face programme also has its problems for those who work from home or part-time.
Judith notices that some participants are making a great effort to build new relationships. Others are only interested in talking to the people they already work with.
Working inclusively means building positive working relationships with colleagues.
This meeting, just like the new programme, provides a great opportunity to establish new relationships, share expertise and demonstrate a willingness to learn from others. An opportunity that not all are taking at the moment.
They discuss ways in which new joiners can get access to all the information they’ll need to do their jobs. To inform their choices, they put in a request for data that will help them better understand the audience in terms of the hours they work, any disabilities that may need to be accommodated, and the devices they have access to.
Jeanette suggests setting up a network for new starters which would allow them to share information with each other more informally. She offers to share a case study which shows how this worked very successfully at another organisation.
Working inclusively means sharing data and information to inform work in your area.
Employers obviously need to share important information from the top down, but this can be significantly enhanced and contextualised through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
Arnaud suggests that every new joiner should be provided with a coach or mentor that they can talk to if they get into difficulty; somebody who'll help them sort a problem out before it becomes a real issue.
Aileen [another participant] is not convinced. There is a lot of work is involved in setting up a scheme like that. Let alone the opportunity cost of all those hours lost mentoring. Arnaud, quite understandably, is taken back.
Judith intervenes, coolly but assertively, thanking Aileen for raising important points, but making it clear that all ideas are valued and that they can look at the logistical implications once all ideas are on the table.
Working inclusively means handling difficult situations calmly and contributing to finding a way forward.
In this case, Judith shows how it’s done. They are on track to putting together a great design for the new programme.
Regardless of our identity or background, we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills and talents to our full potential, to work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment, be fairly rewarded and recognised for our work and have a meaningful voice on matters that affect us.
This course will help you to build your confidence and practice in:
- role modelling and advocating the value of including others and embracing difference
- exploring and interpreting a diverse range of perspectives and views
- building collaborative relationships across organisation boundaries, cultures and other disciplines
- facilitating connections and joint-working across teams, disciplines and functions
- proactively sharing knowledge, experience and expertise to co-create solutions across boundaries
- coaching and enabling others to resolve conflict
- build trust within teams and functions
You need to be a CIPD member and logged into the website to access each of the lessons.
This lesson explains the benefits of the different types of diversity. It will help you to encourage inclusiveness and improve the working environment
This lesson describes what 'employee voice' is and why it matters. It will help you to explore the different channels that encourage positive engagement
This lesson highlights the importance of bringing people together to share perspectives. It will help you to build collaborative working relationships
This lesson outlines the benefits of cross-disciplinary working and encouraging diversity in teams. It will help you to create an inclusive environment to share expertise between teams
This lesson highlights the importance of developing a culture of sharing knowledge. It will help you to consider organisational strategies to capture and share knowledge
This lesson explains how trust develops in different contexts. It will help you to build a work environment based on trust, where conflict is well managed
Download the course workbook
This interactive workbook will help you to make the most out of the course. Use the workbook to reflect on your learning and record your notes as you go along.