Seven tips to help create healthy, inclusive teams

Why is important to create healthy, inclusive teams?

A focus on inclusion not only makes people feel more valued, safe and respected, it also makes employees more productive. Someone that feels comfortable at work is more likely speak up, work cross functionally, and innovate. Harvard Business Review research found that a 10% improvement in perception of inclusion can increase work attendance by almost 1 day a year per employee, reducing the cost of absenteeism. 

But what do we mean by inclusion in terms of the workplace? The CIPD captures it nicely:

“Workplace inclusion is when people feel valued and accepted in their team and in the wider organisation, without having to conform. Inclusive organisations support employees, regardless of their background or circumstance, to thrive at work.”

Seven tips for healthy teams

Here are our seven top tips to help you improve inclusion, and by doing so raise the overall health of your teams.

1. Understand and embrace difference

Get to know each person on your team. By that we don’t just mean their hobbies but their cultural heritage, values, family traditions, working preferences, personality traits and learning styles.  Understanding the whole person means you’re more likely to understand where someone is coming from, appreciate what’s important to them and visualise what success looks like through their eyes. It will also help you delegate effectively, set realistic timeframes for tasks, and avoid unnecessary tensions all whilst making the person feel heard and understood. 

2. Engage people with the vision

Help your people see the ‘why’ in their work. Understanding the golden thread that links them with the overall business mission will help people feel more connected to the company’s objectives. People want impact and to see their adding value at work, it helps them understand that they are a part of something .

3. Role model assertiveness

Ensure you speak up for your people. Use your voice to push inclusion up the agenda and advocate for your people. Show your employees that being assertive is a skill and used properly a powerful tool for change. 

4. Demonstrate allyship

Be an ally and encourage others to act when they witness unfairness. Use your privilege to promote inclusion - support people and advocate for change. Doing so will act as a catalyst paving the way for your employees to use their privilege to help others. 

5. Check your personal bias

Make sure you’re checking the personal bias you’re bringing into the workplace and your team environment. Make sure your people know personal bias is something that everyone has – the important thing is that it’s checked, reflected upon, and corrected. 

6. Adopt a learning mindset

Embrace a continuous learning mindset and be culturally intelligent. Show your people that there’s no end to learning, that it’s important to be open-minded and curious, to push the boundaries regarding what’s read/listened to on topics of inclusion. Ask yourself, “What have I read/listened to this month that has broadened my understanding of inclusion?” Share your learnings with others and encourage healthy, open conversations on the topic.

7. Encourage collaboration

Do you actively bring your people together? Collaboration is more important than ever in a world of hybrid teams. Are you helping your teams understand their individual and collective strengths and how they can be harnessed for the benefit of the team? Do your team support and challenge one another? It’s important everyone understands how they fit within the team/ what they bring to the group. Try asking for feedback to ascertain how well your team works together and how included people feel. 

If you’d like to speak to a member of the People Business team about creating healthy, inclusive teams/inclusive leadership, please contact us on 01932 874944 or email us at