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Welcoming dissatisfaction critical to inclusion

Taking the first step to creating an inclusive workplace is often the most difficult. It takes a great deal of trust and belief that change will be good for your team, both for building a positive culture and generating consumer loyalty, and relies on a resilience to stand firm against resistance from those who are afraid to alter the status quo.

There are certainly strides being taken to adopt greater inclusion across the UK, yet understanding where to start remains a barrier for most companies I have worked with and isn’t through a lack of trying.

It is human nature to stick with what you know, so demonstrating that there might be a different way to how we do things is sometimes hard to accept.

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In order to ensure that you give your company the best opportunity to grow, you must first accept that diversity can lead to innovation.

That ultimately begins with the people you choose to welcome into your ranks and giving them room to express opinion and their differing perspectives, especially considering the rate in which the business landscape is changing.

This is where all companies should listen to the so-called “change equation." To give a business operation the best chance of implementing inclusive workings, it must give its workforce the confidence to voice their dissatisfaction.

This helps build a rationale for changing the way your company goes about its business that outweighs those opposed to making change happen.

By welcoming dissatisfaction, you are able to demonstrate to the wider team that their voice matters to the company.

Creating a safe and open forum to express themselves, employees are more likely to give more to their roles and remain loyal to the cause.

Before becoming a director for PwC, I learnt a great deal about the role of inclusivity during my years as captain for the England Rugby sevens outfit and, by growing accustomed to listening and welcoming new ideas to help the team succeed, we developed a winning environment that the best rugby players in the country were willing to devote their time and energy to.

Transferring my skills in the corporate world and going on to launch my own behavioural change platform it is reassuring to see more leadership teams asking the question of inclusion, even if they are not yet sure how to take the first step.


Ollie Phillips is lead relationship partner of the department of culture, media and sport at PwC