Jyotsna Manikantan is the Director of Product Management, Product Portfolio Strategy and Operations, Product and Innovation at ADP. ADP ranked No. 14 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.
ADP’s Jyotsna Manikantan — Director of Product Management, Product Portfolio Strategy and Operations, Product and Innovation — shared ways the company has achieved an inclusive workplace and how others can do the same.
When employees feel a sense of belonging at their workplace, they are more inclined to make suggestions and offer feedback. Feeling comfortable is a crucial part of using one’s voice.
“When we connect first and you take time to get to know them and build relationships, the partnership just blossoms,” said Manikantan. “The [level of] productivity is something that you could not have thought about. The possibilities are wide open and that’s because you’ve created that psychological safety that confirms they belong, and their voice is welcome to be heard, to make it matter.”
Manikantan used her experience from 15 years at ADP and beyond to share three best practices for fostering inclusion.
1. Learn Personal Facts About One Another
Learning about your coworkers’ lives outside of work is an important part of ensuring each employee feels seen as an individual. Both sharing and learning can build trust in a workplace.
2. Engage and Invite Feedback
Pay attention not only to the people who speak up the most at meetings, but also to the ones who are often quiet. They might have something to contribute but don’t feel comfortable speaking out of turn. Extending a clear invitation for individuals to add their thoughts
3. Create Time for Equal Contribution
“Next time start with a [roll call] of people who have been observing [but not speaking],” ADP’s Manikantan said. “Invite them to share what they are seeing that others are missing. Let us be more receptive to hear new ideas and challenge our thought processes so we can make an impact to win together.”