A Framework for Building Organizational Inclusion – The Netter Principles*


What will an inclusive workplace look like when it’s achieved?

1. Demonstrated Commitment to Diversity

In an inclusive organization, visible and invisible heterogeneity is present throughout all departments and at
all levels of responsibility. Human differences and similarities are welcomed, valued and utilized at all levels
across all formal and informal organizational systems.

2. Holistic View of Employees

An inclusive organization is one in which all employees are viewed and respected as whole persons with identities and family lives which extend beyond the organization and, to the greatest extent appropriate, are free to behave truthfully in the work environment.

3. Access to Opportunity

An inclusive organization is one that creates a professionally nurturing environment in which all
employees have equitable access to opportunities for personal and professional growth.

4. Accommodation of Diverse Physical & Developmental Abilities

An inclusive organization is one that opens opportunity to persons with diverse physical and developmental abilities by offering effective adaptations in the workplace to eliminate barriers to work performance and workplace

5. 360° Communication & Information Sharing

An inclusive organization is one in which communication and information flow from all directions, in all directions
and across all levels of responsibility.

6. Equitable Systems of Recognition & Reward

An inclusive organization establishes systems to recognize, acknowledge and reward the diverse contributions and
achievements of employees at all levels of responsibility.

7. Shared Accountability & Responsibility

An inclusive organization is one in which accountability and responsibility to uphold organizational values and achieve clear organizational goals and objectives in a mutually respectful work environment is shared by employees at all levels and reflected in relations with customers and clients, vendors, suppliers, partners and subcontractors as well.

8. Demonstrated Commitment to Continuous Learning

An inclusive organization acknowledges that every employee is a learner and teacher and creates a flexible, fluid organizational culture that prioritizes continuous, collaborative, cross-organizational learning.

9. Participatory Work Organization & Work Process

An inclusive organization is one that recognizes the traditional and non-traditional skills, aptitudes, educational
experiences, bases of knowledge, personal potential and life experiences of each employee and structures work
organization and processes to utilize these diverse skills.

10. Alignment of Organizational Culture & Process

An inclusive organization is one that acknowledges the existence of an explicit and implicit organizational “culture”
and continuously seeks to align this culture to support organizational values and the synthesis of divergent

11. Collaborative Conflict Resolution Processes

An inclusive organization values and utilizes progressive conflict resolution procedures that empower employees at all levels, across all departments, to work collaboratively to solve problems, resolve interpersonal conflicts and achieve mutually satisfying dispute resolutions.

12. Demonstrated Commitment to Community Relationships

An inclusive organization functions as a responsible citizen neighbor by forging constructive alliances with local
government, schools and community based organizations and professional associations to expand outreach to diverse communities, widen opportunity, enhance access or promote understanding to overcome prejudice and bias.

*Developed at the 1998 Netter Seminar, held at Cornell University ILR, these ideas are offered to provoke discussion and are not intended to be proscriptive.

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