Enterprises that value inclusion design their organisations to achieve outcomes around the abilities of their people. It’s a radical move: one that replaces dictated tasks with high expectations. Removing bureaucratic barriers to performance and the dependence on hierarchical authority takes commitment.
Work need to be re-designed, tools and resources need to be developed and deployed, managers need to be retrained or replaced if they can’t make the switch, spaces need to be re-organised, communication needs to flow more widely and freely, the organisation’s culture needs to be nurtured and fiercely protected, and people need the right skills to manage themselves and participate in a dynamic environment.
Understanding enterprise social inclusion
Enterprise social inclusion (ESI) refers to the extent that an organisation’s physical design, culture, policies, practices and systems allow people of all backgrounds to participate fully in the workplace. It also includes how easily people can interact with and do business with the enterprise’s stakeholders.
The mechanistic organisational models of the industrial era were based on exclusion; methods were designed for standardisation, effectively, filtering out diversity and favouring towards certain characteristics and attributes.
Enterprise social inclusion is the deliberate steps organisations take to engage people for their abilities in all their different forms into meaningful and productive work. It is based on the attitude that we all have an equal right to learn, work, participate in society and influence decisions that affect us.
Why does ESI matter?
For some, enterprise social inclusion is a matter of ethics. Judging the value or ability of people based on a select cohort is by its nature discriminatory. The restrictive subjugation of workers and infantilisation of workplaces do not sit easily with human dignity and respect. Others recognise these exercises in profiling don’t actually predict success; they only indicate the likelihood of a person being able to follow a predefined approach to work.
Digitally mature enterprises are more likely to realise that advanced technology can support work in ways that enable a broader range of skills and experiences than previously when work followed set and linear processes.
For others, the most compelling argument for enterprise social inclusion is the economic benefit. Consumers are showing greater concern for social issues and will actively choose to deal with those whose business practices align with their values. Conspicuous consumption is giving way to conspicuous values. Smart enterprises understand that they need multiple perspectives and experiences within their teams if they are to design their goods and services for the whole community.
Enterprise social inclusion is simply better business.
If you would like to be included on this page, use the link below to complete the Enterprise Social Inclusion questionnaire.