In today’s labour market, the business case for diversity and inclusion is well-established. Many employers see the value of diversity, and as research carried out by TRIEC shows, they are also increasing their focus on inclusion.  

But according to a recent report from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and RBC, just 11% of employers felt they fully leverage their diverse workforces.

Why is this?  For many organizations, the challenge is in the execution. The questions that leaders are asking are: “How exactly do you create an inclusive workplace?” “What skills and knowledge do people in the organization need in order for this to happen?”

TRIEC’s new resource, the Inclusive Workplace Competencies, can help. There is no other framework like this – they are a holistic list of competencies that can be applied to everyone in the organization.

Shifting the narrative on immigrant integration

We want to move away from talking about the “soft skills” that immigrants need to enter the labour market. Today’s workplace is diverse – so we’re focusing on the key competencies everyone within an organization needs to be innovative and fully productive. The competencies are for everyone – they don’t just apply to immigrant professionals.

A shared language

The Inclusive Workplace Competencies give organizations a common language that they can use to describe what inclusive behavior looks like – and set out exactly what is expected from employees in terms of diversity and inclusion. With this model, you can set standards, clarify expectations, and support the measurement of inclusion. The model comes with suggested developmental stages that you can set up yourself.

 An adaptable model

There are many ways your organization can use those competencies – from job descriptions and training needs assessment to performance management and business processes. The model is adaptable: you pick the competencies that are relevant for you and you set the progression levels.

We all need to play our part

Like health and safety, diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. The Inclusive Workplace Competencies go beyond the leadership of an organization. Instead, the framework sets out competencies that everyone needs. We designed them with four job roles in mind: Manager, Colleague, HR and Diversity and Inclusion Professional, and Champion.

It starts with you

The Competencies also recognize that being inclusive is about more than how people work together in teams. They start by asking the user to look at their individual behaviour. However they also ask you to look at your relationships with your team, and your wider organization and community.

In this way, the competencies empower employees to take control of their own development. Users don’t need to wait for their employer to provide diversity and inclusion training – you can refer to the competencies at any time.

We see this model being used in the GTA, nationally and even internationally. In fact, we have already had inquiries from outside Canada about the framework. Canada is well positioned to be a leader in workplace inclusion and our model is unique.

How was it for you?

Have you implemented the Inclusive Workplace Competency in your organization? What did you think? Please share your feedback so we can develop the model and help other organizations to benefit from it –