“Inclusion is the degree to which an employee perceives that they are an esteemed member of the work group through experiencing treatment that satisfies their needs for belongingness and uniqueness. At its highest point, inclusion is expressed as feeling ‘safe’ to speak up without the fear of embarrassment or retaliation; and when people grow and do one’s best work.”
The Social Capital / Social Network Approach to Studying Inclusion
OrgLens is taking a social capital approach to inclusion, which is nothing but looking at the interaction and communication flows of people within the organization - and whether they are free from bias. This view bypasses individuals’ perception bias and helps us understand inclusion as it is, and as close to reality as possible. While there are many definitions of social capital, an easy one for our purpose will be “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively”. The essence of social capital, namely involvement in networks, has potentially beneficial effects for the individual and the organisation.
An easy way to look at the social capital embodied in our network is to see the three kinds of relationships:
Therefore, a social capital-based approach assessing social networks in an organization can possibly give us a better picture of inclusion, and OrgLens’ Inclusion study focuses on 5 important indicators.
ONA, which examines social structure, is a natural tool for exploring issues of diversity within social entities such as corporate organizations. As organizations grow, a greater risk of fragmentation along gender or regional lines is probable. Hence, the major objectives of an ONA study are to understand the extent to which working relationships within the organization are affected by gender, region, or any other observable/ non-observable diversity attributes.