September means back to school…

…and this year, the return has been a big one. This time two weeks ago, my neighbourhood was filled with parents taking first day pictures of their kids. Increasingly, many of us are also returning to the office. After an incredibly challenging year, it feels like change is in the air – at least for now. That palpable back-to-school feeling is heightened for so many of us, as we navigate the coming weeks with both excitement and anxiety.

Starting afresh

September has traditionally been a time of starting afresh with renewed commitment to professional development goals, so perhaps learning is on your mind right now. I’m here to make the case: now more than ever, learning about inclusion and building your intercultural competencies should be a part of learning and development plans, at the individual, team and organizational level.

The commitment appears to be growing. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Learning and Development professionals in North America report that their executives have made equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) programs a priority. Yet in Canada specifically, only about a third of diversity personnel (32%) agreed or strongly agree that their organization spends sufficient resources and time on inclusion education and training. Now is the time for organizations to consider how they will turn their commitment into action.

Turning commitment into action

At TRIEC, we have developed resources that can help. TRIEC’s Inclusive Workplace Competencies framework allows leaders and HR practitioners to determine the behaviours required to demonstrate inclusion at three levels. Each of the Inclusive Workplace Competencies in the framework includes a set of performance criteria. These criteria set out the knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate the competency through individual, team and organizational behaviour. Learning and development and talent management leaders can use the criteria to evaluate the extent to which the organization’s learning and development offerings and talent management practices help learners to perform these behaviours successfully.

TRIEC’s Inclusive Practices Index can also help you assess where your organization is on its inclusion journey and identify gaps in knowledge and understanding about inclusion. The Index uses a rating scale of 1 (inactive) through to 5 (best practices) to help organizations gauge their current status. Even if your organization is at the inactive end of the scale, now is a great time to get started.

Whether it’s back to the office or the classroom this month, commit to taking the next step on the journey of inclusion.