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Addressing Organisational Connectivity offers big profit generation opportunities

A workplace survey by Gallup shows that around: 25% of employees are ‘engaged’; 60% are not engaged; the remaining 15% are actively disengaged. These statistics are important because as engagement increases so does revenue. The last three IDC monthly best practices have demonstrated means of obtaining profit generation or efficiency gains from diversity and inclusion blindspots. This time, as part of that theme, we’re going to examine the hidden power of social networks and their impact on engagement. These might be work, career advice or ’grapevine’ networks.


Our approach to this is to carry out organisational connectivity surveys. In these we identify the average numbers of connections each individual has and the number of intermediaries on the shortest path between two people. We also measure the percentage of connected pairs of colleagues out of 100%. Well, surprise, surprise, what do we usually find out about exclusion? These surveys reveal that women and minority ethnic employees tend to experience less connectivity with their work colleagues than their white, male counterparts. Clearly this can cause the women and the minority ethnic employees to feel ‘not engaged’ and ultimately can result in their becoming ‘actively disengaged’. The reason, of course, is that, like the majority of workforces, they often find themselves operating in a white, masculine culture which can lead to unintentional exclusion. The solution is to build capability in inclusive management and working. These are skills concerned with: listening, enquiring, acknowledging feelings and contributions, building on others’ suggestions, etc.


The organisational connectivity survey methodology is not only a good means of identifying instances of exclusion; but also of measuring progress with transforming a white, masculine culture into one which is more inclusive for all. The productivity, performance, creative problem solving and talent development benefits gained can be very considerable.


As ever, IDC’s consultants have the experience and knowhow to help your organisation gain these step changes in performance from diversity blindspots.


Dr Ian Dodds,

27 Feb 09

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