Sometimes you can find inspiration in the strangest places. This week, I found it during candlelight church service on Christmas Eve.
Pastor John had me from the beginning – he began his sermon with a statement about how the scriptures of the Bible tell the story of the inclusiveness of Jesus’ birth. (Inclusion? I was intrigued.) Regardless of which version you prefer, the words are there that tell of how the gift of Jesus and the love of God are for all people. He went on to say that he believes the shepherds who are mentioned in the story represent everyone – all were present on that night. It wasn’t invitation only and you didn’t have to be wealthy/educated/privileged to be included. The story (the gift) is for everyone.
How awesome is that?!?
I’ll be honest – this take on inclusion was a relief for me. I could finally relate. Don’t get me wrong – I am all for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I’ve just found it difficult to make a personal connection in my work life. I work with and for small businesses – the HR pros in those segments are often swimming upstream the majority of the time. Initiatives like diversity & inclusion are not top priority.
My takeaway was that sometimes you can learn something new from within something you’ve always known about. And that a concept like inclusion may be brought center stage from an unlikely source.
So, my fellow HR pros, what can this mean for us in the new year? For me, it means I’m going to stop thinking about diversity & inclusion as a monstrosity designed only for big business and look for ways to make it simple for practical application. What do we offer for ALL employees? That’s inclusion.
One more thing…
I’m thrilled and honored to announce that I’ll be included (inclusion!) as a speaker at the Ohio Safety Congress in March and the Oklahoma HR Conference in April. If you’re able, I would love to see you there!
Happy New Year!