Every speaker at WorkHuman should be applauded! They gave their time, energy, and expertise to provide attendees with great content to take back to the workplace and implement immediately. One of my favorites was KeyAnna Schmiedl the Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Wayfair. She shared a visual that has stuck with me since she spoke. It is a way to truly become more inclusive. The visual explains Exclusion, Segregation, Integration, and Inclusion.

We talk so much about hiring for diversity and making sure we have the right numbers of X but I always encourage folks to “fix their house” first before hiring and to focus on Inclusion. This rang true during this conversation. She explained the four words so everyone can understand.

Exclusion- Exclusion is bad. It is easy to see when folks are being excluded. You may have a few people from underrepresented groups on your team, but they are held at arm’s length and not included in key business decisions.

Segregation- Segregation means you bring people from underrepresented groups onto the team but only for certain roles or teams and don’t allow them to be a part of the larger organization plans and culture.

Integration- Integration is the most sinister because you are asking people from underrepresented groups to join the team but expecting them to assimilate or leave. This does not create an environment where diversity can thrive and create innovative solutions blossom.

Inclusion- People of all backgrounds, experiences, and skills are embraced for who they are and can share themselves in a productive way that drives better business outcomes. Inclusion is the only way we win.

Inclusion is such a critical component to a company’s success. We know we need to bring folks onto the team with different perspectives and backgrounds. Each individual needs to feel valued and celebrated for what they contribute. I have been in organizations where I have seen exclusion, segregation, integration, and inclusion. For many people, they know what each of these feels like and we are seeing the shift in the workforce where they will accept nothing less than inclusion. We should expect nothing less as the folks in charge of welcoming and celebrating people. We make work human for folks.

KeyAnna spoke about another concept that every one of us should adopt today as we think about creating inclusion. It is a simple math equation.

(Authenticity + Humility + Transparency) x (Consistency)

Being authentic about what you are trying to do, plus showing humility in how you show up and acknowledging that there is work to be done, plus transparency about your learning and the data and then multiple that over and over in a consistent manner until people know you are doing the work and making a difference. Wow! Seems simple, right? If every organization took these steps to be more inclusive, we would see a much different landscape in the workforce.

Every speaker really echoed these values and WorkHuman did a phenomenal job of creating spaces where folks could come together in community to discuss these topics and many more. I hope to attend this conference for years to come because it is so critical to the sharing of stories and creating better, human focused workplaces.