What is Workplace Allyship and Why Does It Matter?

More business leaders understand the need for inclusivity today, but there’s still some way to go. Fifty-seven percent of employees want to see more diversity in their workplace, and almost seventy percent of executives consider this a critical issue. 

 

What can you do to embrace allyship and create a more inclusive company culture? 


In this post, we’ll look at what constitutes an ally, the benefits of inclusive work cultures, and how you can encourage allyship in your business. 

What Is an Ally?


According to the Guide to Allyship, being an ally means advocating for members of social groups outside your own, specifically those that face discrimination daily. Allies typically belong to a more widely represented group but work to help others facing different challenges to succeed in various ways. 


It’s about more than showing sympathy towards discriminated individuals. Allies will facilitate positive change, such as helping to create more employment opportunities for underprivileged people. 


  • White male executives can be allies to women of color who want to reach the same position in their careers. 
  • Cisgender employees can be allies to colleagues from the LGBTQI+ community. 
  • People from privileged backgrounds can be allies to those who lack the same economic stability and opportunities. 

You may feel daunted when you start to increase your awareness of social injustice and unequal opportunities. It takes time, research, and the ability to listen to what people outside your community have to say. 


But you could transform people’s lives for the better by bringing a more diverse range of skilled individuals into your workplace. And you could build a more prosperous, profitable, socially conscious company at the same time.

What Is the ABC Model of Allyship?



The ABC Model of Allyship is a helpful framework for business leaders and workers to establish a more inclusive culture. Teams can follow the ABC model to ensure they treat everyone in the workplace equally and fairly. You can learn more about the ABC model at Open Access Government, but here’s a brief breakdown.

A Is for Appreciate Inclusion


Allyship in the workplace starts by increasing your awareness and appreciation of other people’s experiences. 


This early stage of becoming an ally involves recognizing the different challenges and forms of discrimination people across diverse communities face. You’ll come to appreciate the need for positive action and the possibilities that this can create. 

B Is for Build an Inclusive Climate


The ABC’s model’s second stage covers an ally's first steps towards initiating change. You will find ways to build a more inclusive environment for all workers by nurturing relationships based on transparent conversations and empathy.


Your workforce should understand what changes you plan to implement to cultivate a more inclusive company culture. Provide them with the resources they need to educate themselves, recognize the importance of allyship, and what steps they can take to be an ally.

C Is for Champion Change


Advocacy is the final stage of allyship. You will search for opportunities to make positive changes inside the workplace and ensure employees at all levels feel valued, respected, and empowered to perform at their best. 


You may become involved in initiatives to promote inclusivity and allyship beyond your own business too. You might inspire other companies or individuals to consider how they can help. 

What Benefits Does an Inclusive Work Culture Offer?



A 2019 McKinsey report shows that those companies with more gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to achieve above-average profitability than less-diverse businesses.


And the McKinsey report also demonstrates that companies with more ethically and culturally diverse workforces were likely to outperform others: they achieved up to 36% more profitability (up from 33% in 2017). 


Another benefit of building an inclusive work culture is appealing to a more diverse group of candidates during the recruitment process. A PwC report found that 45% of males and 54% of females research a business’s policies on diversity and inclusion before accepting a job.


The most highly skilled candidates may overlook your company during their job search if they feel your environment is unwelcoming to them or others. 


According to a study by Gallup, employees may also feel more valued and engaged in an inclusive workplace. Higher engagement can boost productivity by 17%, increase profitability by 21%, and reduce staff turnover by 24%. 

How Can You Encourage Allyship in Your Workplace?


Here are five ideas to help you promote allyship, whether your team is composed of in-house or remote workers (or a mix of both). 

Improve Communication to Create More Understanding



Active listening is paramount to becoming an ally. It’s tempting to speak about your thoughts, feelings, and discoveries when increasing your appreciation of others’ experiences. But don’t forget to listen to what people need to say for themselves. 


Clear communication is essential for active listening, for workers in the office and those based at home, providing workers with an efficient communication tool. TINYpulse connects coworkers and managers no matter how far apart they are. And teach employees that they can raise any concerns they may have about a lack of inclusivity, whether it affects them or others.

Become an Advocate for Others Who May Be Missing Out on Decisions


Your workforce may include employees from diverse backgrounds and communities — but do they have much say in the business? 


Look at your key decision-makers. Do they have similar experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, and skills? Are they equipped to understand how specific changes could affect people inside and outside the company?


Include a broader range of workers in business decisions to show that you’re willing to lead by example. You could inspire employees by your actions rather than your words. 

Recognize That Creating Positive Change Can Be Challenging at First



Embracing allyship in the workplace may not be as easy as you expect initially. You might have certain beliefs and expectations that become challenged when you build relationships with people outside your usual network. 


Being part of or leading a diverse team can create an atmosphere in which people may be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. That’s another reason why clear communication and transparency is vital. Encourage employees to understand others’ viewpoints and personalities rather than making assumptions. 

Be Willing to Admit When You Make Mistakes 


Raise your hand and own up to your mistakes as you educate yourself on allyship in the workplace. You may make missteps as you try to accommodate a more diverse team, even if your intentions are noble. 


Admitting to errors can build trust and encourage others to be honest when they make a mistake. Employees will appreciate a culture of accountability, particularly if they have experience in workplaces where nobody was held responsible for discrimination. 

Take Action on Employee Feedback 


One of the simplest and most effective ways to establish a more inclusive workplace is to find out what employees think. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask for an individual’s opinion on a possible business decision, and they’ll tell you. But many people may feel uncomfortable delivering feedback, particularly in person.


That might be a problem in workplaces with poor employee-management relationships, a lack of transparency, and no accountability. Workers may worry about the repercussions of their honesty. 


TINYpulse enables you to collect real-time feedback from employees to understand exactly how they feel. Work to create an environment where employees feel confident in voicing their opinions via TINYpulse, whether they can improve the company culture or feel a specific policy needs work. 


But you must take action on feedback to earn employees’ trust, make them feel valued, and build the type of workplace they want to be part of for years to come.

Conclusion


Allyship in the workplace is essential to make your business feel safe, comfortable, and welcoming to everyone. Follow the ABC Model of Allyship to build an inclusive culture that accepts people from different backgrounds and provides opportunities to grow. 


Increasing diversity in your business can bolster your workforce with different ideas, skills, and perspectives. It could lead to greater profitability, boost your company’s appeal to the most highly skilled candidates, and inspire others to embrace allyship in their own lives or business. 


Effective communication and employee feedback are crucial to improving inclusivity. TINYpulse streamlines your internal communication, helps you understand your team better, makes more thoughtful decisions, and establishes trust between employees and management. 


You can also collect transparent employee feedback and recognize what needs to change to create a happier, more inclusive workplace. 


How can you try TINYpulse? Book your demo to get started today!

 

Lori Li

Lori Li

July 12, 2021

 

 

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