In every one of us, there’s a little tug-of-war between our desire to stand out and to fit in. A lot of times, organizations either make everyone blend in so much that nobody stands out, or they’re all about celebrating what makes each person different, but then nobody feels like they’re on the same page. 

At HAPPINESS SQUAD, what we’re aiming for is that sweet spot where everyone can be themselves and still feel like they’re in it together. Our next guest shows us that all it takes to create a truly inclusive culture is to “inclusify” every aspect of our work environment.

In this article, we’re drawing inspiration from Stefanie to explore the concept of “inclusifying” our work environments. Let’s dive deeper into this across 4 key areas:

What “Inclusify” Means

Inclusify isn’t just a term—it’s an action, an approach to creating a workplace where everyone can demonstrate their individuality. According to Stefanie, it’s all about living and leading in a way that recognizes and celebrates differences, actively bringing diverse perspectives to light. 

To inclusify is not just about having diversity but making sure that diversity is effectively integrated into the team’s dynamics, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued equally. This approach can lead to happier, more productive teams and workplaces by fostering a sense of belonging and allowing individuality to thrive, and it’s what we’re all about at HAPPINESS SQUAD. For us, an inclusive workplace looks like a place where your unique self is not just accepted but actually needed. 

The Challenges of Workplace Diversity and True Inclusivity

Achieving diversity is one thing; ensuring true inclusivity is another. And we are aware that historical structures and biases can impede the creation of an inclusive environment. 

We’ve seen it time and again—some organizations pat themselves on the back for assembling a diverse team, but then they drop the ball when it comes to making sure everyone on that team can speak up and shine. That’s not how it should be. 

We’re dedicated to breaking down these barriers, recognizing that the richness of  teams come from the diversity of its members and the inclusivity of our practices.

Ashish says it best: inclusivity is not about ticking boxes; it’s about creating a vibe where everyone feels like they’re part of the squad. We don’t just include for inclusion’s sake; we inclusify with intention and purpose. So how do we foster true inclusivity?

Building an Inclusivity-First Work Environment

Inclusivity is built through intentional actions. Whether it’s making more engaging meeting structures or encouraging diverse voices to speak up, we believe in taking concrete steps to inclusify our daily interactions. It starts with one change, one conversation at a time, leading to a ripple effect of inclusivity across our entire organization.

“Don’t just see people in the room. Hear them and let them speak up. Let them be part of what you’re doing. That could actually unlock more than maybe what people are experiencing today.” – Anil Ramjiani.

  1. Choose one inclusive action

Start with one impactful action to integrate into daily routines, like amplifying diverse voices in meetings by encouraging quieter members to share their input.

  1. Encourage Preparation and Participation

Encourage participation from your teams by distributing agendas and points beforehand. Prepare for meetings, employ ‘popcorning’ or visual aids like colored chips to ignite engagement.

  1. Create a Contagious Culture of Inclusivity

Celebrate and share the positive shifts as the team adopts inclusive behaviors. This helps inclusify your culture, embedding inclusivity into your organization’s core.

By embodying these three steps in our organizations, we’re no longer just talking about inclusivity but transforming our organizations by living it out in our everyday actions and interactions.

How Self-Awareness Can Lead to Diversity and Inclusion

At the heart of creating an inclusive environment is self-awareness, a critical step that the HAPPINESS SQUAD emphasizes for advancing diversity and inclusion. It’s about recognizing and actively working to understand our own biases, ensuring they don’t cloud our judgment or interactions. 

By being self-aware, we’re not just acknowledging the existence of biases but actively dismantling them, which allows every team member to contribute fully and authentically. This isn’t just personal growth; it’s about boosting our collective capability and creating a workplace where everyone is inclusified.


Inclusifying our workplace is an ongoing journey, and the HAPPINESS SQUAD is all about making sure our workplace is truly inclusive. It’s a straightforward goal: everyone should feel heard and be a key part of our success. We’re committed to this every single day, making sure inclusivity isn’t just a box we check but the way we roll. And we’re sticking to it, every step of the way.

Meet Stefanie Johnson, she is the Director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Leadership, and Associate Professor at Leeds School of Business. She brings evidence-based leadership development programming to students, executives, and universities across the country. Her teaching, service, and research all focus on the intersection of leadership and inclusion. She’s the author of a Wall Street Journal national bestseller, “Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams.” 

Learn more about Stefanie at her website and LinkedIn.

Listen to the podcast with Ashish, Anil, and Stefanie below.

Access and subscribe to the all of the episodes of the Happiness Squad Podcast here.

Visit the REWIRE Program powered up by the HAPPINESS SQUAD Community and experience your shift within your 30 day risk-free trial today. Cultivate your Self-Awareness, Gratitude, Purpose and Community and personal growth more through the 9 Hardwired for Happiness practices. Integrate simple and proven micro-practices grounded in the science of happiness and neuroscience of habit formation in a 5 minutes a day.

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