Dean M Schroeder, Senior Practice Leader, Human Resources Consulting, Gallagher Canada


Many of us are put into leadership roles without having any training on how to actually lead. There can be  an emotional cost to leadership that can impact our mental health as well as the mental health of those we  lead, manage and support.  

Data collected from senior managers indicated that most breweries do not have some of the necessary  systems and structures in place to facilitate a diverse and inclusive work environment. In lieu of a formal  structure, you can use craft beer’s visibility in local communities as a catalyst for achieving inclusivity and  diversity in the community.  

As confirmed in the survey, Challenge safety is the hardest safety to achieve as employees must first feel  included, safe to learn and comfortable enough to contribute before they can feel secure enough to  challenge the status quo. 

Respondents indicated and believed that their leaders’ actions are not  

consistent with their communication. They also indicated that management  

does not demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion through actions. This  provides support for why they assume that cognizance of bias is low. 

Well-being and engagement play a critical role in ensuring that people can  remain dedicated to the common goal. While these changes are creating  exciting opportunities both for the business and for our people, it is also  asking different things of our customers and the communities in which we operate.

| Cognizance of Bias: Being aware of your own behavior and the ability to self-regulate | 

Thoughts on Leadership

Doing hard things isn’t easy. Most people avoid challenging things altogether. Others choose to start, but  when they figure out the difficulty of what’s ahead of them, they decide to take the path of least resistance.  

You can’t have 6 priorities going at one time….focus on one priority at a time for your employees…..then  ask yourself, “what is going to get in the way? Is everything aligned?” 

Our employees today, believe it or not, have needs—a lot of them. The typical needs revolve around fair  compensation, exciting work, and being a part of a team. 

Meeting these basic needs as a leader is essential to have engaged, productive, and positive team  members over time. However, it’s meeting a team member’s advanced needs where the difference  between a manager and a leader begins to emerge. 

There should be additional training for managers around how to have difficult conversations, and the best  leaders will leverage accountability better in one-on-ones. 

Mission Makes Meaning

In other words, when you are on mission, you have meaning in your work. The best leaders know having  meaning behind your work is a key ingredient to success and purposeful achievement.  

“Authenticity is how leaders demonstrate and share their genuine values, stories, and desires.”  

Authenticity in leadership is key to building strong relationships, and inspiring team members to give their  maximum effort. What is the difference between your intention (or how you come across) and the impact.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) or Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DIB) DEI when it’s done effectively, isn’t a program, but a shift in how organizations operate. It’s accepting that  things like privilege and bias exist and many of us bring those things to work with us every day with no  understanding that they’re happening. We don’t know what we don’t know, and it’s simplistic to think we  can fix things quickly with little effort. It needs to be focused on with a discussion around inclusion and  how to “get familiar with the unfamiliar.” 

You can’t create diversity on a shoestring. If your DEI thought-process is starved of resources in terms of  people or finances, then not all the good intentions in the world will make a difference. 

It’s important for organizations to define these terms, and that it’s dangerous when you’ve got a group of  people within an organization that all have different ideas of what these words mean and the importance of  them and what they provide.  

Even within your own survey, the participation sheds some interesting light.  

22.7% of CCBA member breweries participated 

50% of respondents were managers 

Many respondents felt anecdotally that employees and management are reflective of their  community, but demographic data contradicts this. 

Remember, you can have diversity and not have inclusion. It is a common mistake when companies focus  only on diversity and leave out inclusion. Diversity won’t mean anything if team members don’t feel like a  valued part of a team. You can have a collection of many different people, but if those people don’t feel  included, you’re not actually going to leverage the power of that diversity. You’ve just collected a lot of  different people who are in the room or in the company together. Inclusion is actually creating a space in  an environment where people feel like they can actually express opinions, where they can bring their ideas  to the table, and it’s not a matter of just feeling welcomed, but also valued. 

We need societal change too. What the CCBA is currently doing with it’s reoccurring survey are great first  steps. Actually having these discussions will help to leverage our power and influence to change the  policies, structures, and cultural norms that perpetuate so much inequity. 

Have you ever wondered if the colleagues who work around you feel like they have to filter major parts of  their personal identity out of their professional persona? 

Do they check a part of their life at the door each day? How painful must it be  to tolerate that sense of exclusion every day just to make a living? And yet, it  happens all the time.  

We all share something in common, despite our unique intersectionality’s.  Every human being wants to be “seen”. We thrive when we feel valued and  acknowledged. It is as simple as that.  

Consider the following: 

Have you ever felt left out? 

How did this exclusion make you feel?

| Intersectionality: The acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression | 

Your answer most likely takes you back to a time when you felt vulnerable. Now, imagine someone who’s not feeling included at work because of their intersectionality. This reverse approach helps build empathy  towards others and informs you of the actions you can take to foster inclusion. 

We need to remember that simply because someone is included in your organization, does not mean they  feel they belong. Some of us find true, deep belonging at work, but not everyone will. At minimum,  however, we all need psychological safety: the ability to make a valuable contribution without fear of being  ridiculed or rejected.  

Have you ever heard of unconscious biases? Although conversations in this area are often difficult and  uncomfortable, we still need to maintain a respectful dialogue and listen to one another. We also need our  team members to be more aware of the subtle, and often unintentional, ways they create exclusion  through their words and actions.  

Choose Inclusion Intentionally 

By creating a sense of belonging at work, there is an outcome of three mutually reinforcing attributes.  

  1. Employees should feel comfortable at work, including being treated fairly and respected by their  colleagues.  
  2. Employees should feel connected to the people they work with and the teams they are a part of. 
  3. Employees should feel they contribute to meaningful work outcomes — understanding how their  unique strengths are helping their teams and organizations achieve common goals.

Belonging creates the trust that’s needed for people to share their best thinking.  

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” 

Oscar Wilde