The inclusive organisational culture

The Flemish job market faces great challenges. We have witnessed growing globalization, international competition and the constant need for innovation in the last decade. Companies increasingly need to organize themselves in a way that allows them to be flexible and adapt to constant change.

Although change has been a constant over the past decades, the nature and speed of the changes we experience today are unprecedented, driven by technological innovation, cultural and social shifts and a changing demography.
Such a volatile and unpredictable context requires a specific form of entrepreneurship: the ability to find a balance within constant change - in other words, the ability of organizations to adapt quickly - with a clear vision and strategy in terms of employment. Hence the growing need to spot every available talent on the labour market, not only from a social perspective but also from an economic point of view.
Within the project "The inclusive organization: room for every talent", the partnership wants to develop a toolbox in which, through a scientific screening of the literature, in-depth interviews and focus groups, and sounding board groups, we will focus on organizational culture (specifically on inclusive culture and the talent approach) on the one hand, and on the perception of employees regarding inclusion on the other hand. The toolbox has the objective to strengthen service providers in their support of companies and of our specific target groups on the Flemish labour market.

This project stems from the observation that for certain minorities discrimination and auto-discrimination in the workplace are a reality, which hinders an inclusive talent approach, and which can cause problems both psychologically and career wise.
With "The inclusive organization: room for every talent", the partnership wishes to offer an answer to this issue by focusing, on the one hand on the organizational and team level, and on the other hand on the individual level by (a) mapping the causes through an inclusion scan; (b) developing interventions according to the degree of inclusion, which can be used by intermediary service providers and organizations to deploy at organization and team level; (c) developing awareness trainings on auto-discrimination, specifically for our target groups. An impact measurement will be carried out by taking the audit/scan a second time (d) after having offered customized interventions to the organizations involved.

(a) Inclusion scan: the audit/scan will be done by a minimum of 5 organizations, based on an online questionnaire on inclusion in the workplace. The online questionnaire is offered at various levels within the organization, ranging from employees to managers to the top management team. Questions are included regarding existing initiatives regarding talent and inclusion, type of communication, procedures used for recruitment and promotion, (un)conscious bias etc. Analyzing the inclusion audit, we wish to determine to what extent an organization is already characterized by an inclusive culture. Research shows that different "levels of inclusion" can be distinguished, ranging from resistance to conformity to inclusion (Dass & Parker, 1999). Based on the result of the audit, the partnership wishes to offer interventions, tailored to the needs of the pilot organizations;

(b) Interventions: Depending on the outcome of the scan, the existing initiatives within the company and the insights we gathered through the literature study, we propose interventions such as awareness campaigns or interventions concerning talent management. The interventions will be tailored to the needs of the company in question and adjusted to the degree of inclusion as determined by the scan;

(c) Development of awareness trainings on auto-discrimination aimed at our target groups and at the people surrounding our target groups in the workplace. These courses are based on preliminary research that the partnership undertakes within the present project, both through a specific survey of the target groups concerning auto-discrimination (via an online questionnaire to be developed) and through input gathered via in-depth interviews, focus groups and testimonials.

(d) The process is completed by offering the inclusion scan a second time to the participating companies, to analyse to what extent the companies evolved before and after offering the developed interventions. This way we can not only present an impact study (with a first measurement during the first audit and an impact measurement during the second audit), but we can also offer added value for the pilot organizations that participate in this project.

To make this project to a success, we strive for a labour policy that is based on talents, taking into account the growing diversity within our society. Our aim is twofold. On the one hand, we aim to ensure that employers are more committed to an inclusive organizational culture, commit themselves by signing our charter, become aware of persistent taboos and (un)conscious bias, and spot every talent on the labor market. On the other hand, we aim to ensure that employees, and within this project specifically within the defined target groups, become aware of auto-discrimination and of the thresholds they create for themselves (individual level). This way, we not only wish to increase labour participation (responsibility that resides largely with the employer), but also the well-being of the employees themselves.

Advocates of the inclusion charter:

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times