Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Research shows that building a multicultural team requires special effort in making everyone feel included. Four leadership behaviors were linked to inclusion:
2) accountability (which together have been described as ‘high accountability, low control’),
3) courage which means ‘you put personal interests aside to achieve what needs to be done,’ and
4) humility, i.e. ‘you admit mistakes, you accept and learn from criticism.’
Also interesting is that employees from some cultures (e.g. Mexico, China) are over twice as innovative and cohesive when extra effort is expended to include them. Plus, this research points out that American leaders usually feel less than half the need for inclusion than do their other cultural counterparts. Therefore it’s important for leaders raised in American culture to expand the extra effort to include others, even though they may not feel the need as acutely themselves.”
How much do the very definitions of inclusion vary from culture to culture? Are there gender differences in what makes employees feel included? What leadership behaviors can promote inclusion? And how much do these behaviors need to be adapted for different cultural contexts?
This study delves into the striking similarities across most countries in how employees characterize inclusion and the leadership behaviors that help to foster it.
Findings in all six countries include:
- The more included employees felt, the more innovative they reported being in their jobs.
- The more included employees felt, the more they reported engaging in team citizenship behaviors—going above and beyond the “call of duty” to help other team members and meet workgroup objectives.
- Perceiving similarities with coworkers engendered a feeling of belongingness while perceiving differences led to feelings of uniqueness.
Download the complete report or view the infographic to see how inclusion was linked both to employees’ self-reported innovation and team citizenship—behaviors that have a profound impact on overall team productivity and product innovation…