Three Inclusive Team Norms That Drive Success (Report)

Authors: Sheila Brassel, PhD, Tara Van Bommel, PhD, Kathrina Robotham, PhD

Despite the many ways that the Future of Work is transforming the business world, one fact endures: Team-based and collaborative work will remain a foundation of successful organizations. This study finds three team norms that predict whether teams flourish or fail, and the keystone lies in cultivating an inclusive team environment.

Yet we stand at a crossroads: Decades of painstakingly slow progress for women have been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has laid bare—and in many cases exacerbated—the inequities that exist for women, especially women of color. Team leaders must now make intentional choices to advance gender equity in today’s workplace including embracing schedule and location flexibility, which is essential to women’s full participation in the workforce. By following the roadmap illuminated by these team norms, team leaders and members can cultivate an inclusive team environment where success is predicated on how we work, not when or where.

Three Norms Are Key to an Inclusive Team Environment

In this moment, when the nature of work is changing profoundly—with new technologies constantly emerging, trends in where and how we work rapidly evolving, and employee expectations for equity ever-growing—how can team leaders and members ensure that teams can contribute their best, flourish, and succeed? How can organizations and leaders use this paradigm shift as an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine workplaces to be inclusive for people of all genders and racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds? A critical component of the answer to these questions lies in the way teams operate.

Our survey of more than 4,300 employees across the globe tells us that the key to inclusive teamwork lies in cultivating our differences while striving together. We found that three norms (defined as shared expectations for team members’ behavior) characterize inclusive teams. These norms reinforce team members’ ability to bring their full selves to work, be real with one another, and turn to one another for support:

Our data show that employees whose teams regularly practice these norms are more likely to say their teams engage in team innovation, team problem-solving, and team citizenship behaviors. In addition to these team benefits, employees are also more likely to say that they are engaged and included as individuals.

But here’s the problem: On average, only 31% of employees report “often” or “always” experiencing inclusive team norms at work. That means that leaders, team managers, and team members have more work to do when it comes to harnessing the full power of teams.

Inclusive team norms are the foundation of successful, productive, and innovative teamwork and the backbone of agile organizations. And these norms fuel team behaviors that can bolster how people across intersections of identity such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, sexual orientation, and cultural background collaborate together. As technological, geopolitical, climate, and social disruptions revolutionize team configurations and goals, getting these behaviors and processes right is critical for success now and into the future.

Key Findings

Three inclusive team norms drive positive team outcomes across a diverse set of countries, populations, and industries:

  • Promoting expressions of difference.
  • Fostering a team coaching climate.
  • Codifying fair team decision-making practices.

These inclusive team norms drive positive outcomes for both teams and individuals. They predict higher levels of:

  • Team innovation, citizenship, and problem-solving.
  • Individual work engagement and overall experience of inclusion at work.

However, on average, only 31% of employees report “often” or “always” experiencing these inclusive team norms at work.

Employees from marginalized racial or ethnic groups and people who are trans or nonbinary experience lower levels of inclusion at work, highlighting the need to create more inclusive workplaces for people of all genders and racial or ethnic backgrounds.

About the Study

 
Drawing from data collected through the Catalyst Inclusion Accelerator—a diagnostic tool that evaluates and monitors inclusion at work—we analyzed survey responses from a global sample of 4,368 employees to better understand what factors contribute to inclusive teams.1

What Are Inclusive Team Norms?

Norms: Informal expectations that dictate how we should and should not behave at work.2

  • Sometimes norms can be explicitly recognized—for example, when team leaders actively encourage their team to work flexibly when they need to accommodate life circumstances. Norms may even inform formal workplace rules and policies.
  • But more often, norms are invisible, unwritten, and learned by observing how other people behave and whether they are rewarded or punished for that behavior.3
  • Examples of everyday workplace norms include working through lunch, not turning on cameras during team meetings, and messaging a co-worker before calling them.

Inclusive Team Norms: Shared expectations for how team members should behave that enable everyone to belong, contribute, and thrive.

  • Differences are recognized, valued, and encouraged by team members, so the whole team becomes stronger.4  People know they will be treated fairly, so a diversity of perspectives can be voiced––which ultimately leads to better decisions.5
  • Mutual respect, collaboration, and transparency are prized in teams that cultivate inclusive norms. Team members can count on one another for both follow-through and support.
  • Our study found three inclusive team norms that drive team success: promoting expressions of difference, fostering a team coaching climate, and codifying fair team decision-making practices. In this type of environment, teams flourish.

Most People Do Not Experience Inclusive Team Norms

 
Is your team climate often or always inclusive? On average, only 31% of employees in our survey said that their teams have inclusive norms. This means that over two-thirds of employees are having subpar team experiences, with a strong likelihood that their teams are underperforming, as we demonstrate below.

Three Norms Must Be Put Into Practice

Many dynamics—both positive and negative—can influence how a team works together, such as role clarity and information sharing.8 We investigated how several different team phenomena relate to experiences of inclusion and team success (e.g., how well teams work on interdependent tasks, how bonded they are9). We found that three team norms fundamentally enable people to experience an inclusive team environment10 and stood out in driving beneficial team and individual outcomes.

1. Promoting Expressions of Difference:

Team members share and value dissenting opinions.

Examples:

  • Actively inviting and encouraging dissenting views and unconventional and innovative thinking, rather than minimizing differences.
  • Having practices that ensure members are heard and valued for their unique perspectives—so people know that they can raise an unpopular opinion without experiencing backlash.

 

2. Fostering a Team Coaching Climate:

Team members provide constructive feedback and encourage one another to learn.

Examples:

  • Freely seeking and offering advice and supportive, constructive feedback.
  • Holding one another accountable for learning, growth, and achieving goals.

 

3. Codifying Fair Team Decision-Making Practices:

Teams have processes for fair, consistent, and principled decision-making.

Examples:

  • Agreeing on fair guidelines and procedures for how team decisions are made.
  • Involving team members in decision-making—even if the final call is ultimately made by the team leader.

Inclusive Norms Drive Team Success  

Across all countries, our data show that inclusive team norms predict important indicators of team success: Team innovation, team problem-solving, and team citizenship.

Team Innovation

Definition: An employee’s view of the team’s ability to generate creative solutions for the development of new products and processes or ways of doing work better.11

How inclusive team norms are key: Team-based work relies on a diversity of skillsets and perspectives to effectively meet and anticipate challenges and develop novel solutions. But without an inclusive and supportive team environment, voices may be silenced, and groupthink can take over. Inclusive team norms can unlock the full potential of team innovation by assuring team members that their ideas will be heard.

Among teams with high levels of inclusive norms, 75% of employees report high levels of team innovation, compared to only 16% of those with low levels of inclusive norms.12

Team Problem-Solving

Definition: An employee’s view of how constructively their team works together to find solutions to problems and resolve conflicts.

How inclusive team norms are key: Problem-solving—broadly speaking—is the purpose of organizations, whether it’s for organizational, societal, or interpersonal challenges. As problems become increasingly complex and the pace of change accelerates, effective team problem-solving is paramount. New problems require new solutions, and inclusive team norms enable teams to be bold, explore unpopular ideas, and take risks with the support of their team behind them.

Among teams with high levels of inclusive norms, 90% of employees report high levels of team problem-solving, compared to only 24% of those with low levels of inclusive norms.14

Team Citizenship

Definition: An employee’s view of how common it is for team members to go above and beyond their own responsibilities to meet workgroup objectives.15

How inclusive team norms are key: Being part of a team means acting in the interest of the collective good. Examples include volunteering to work outside normal responsibilities to support another colleague or stepping up when a team member encounters a problem at or outside of work. Inclusive team norms unite team members so that they want to help one another, even when they don’t have to.

Among teams with high levels of inclusive norms, 77% of employees report high levels of team citizenship, compared to only 17% of those with low levels of inclusive norms.16

Inclusive Team Norms Bolster Employee Job Engagement

Although it’s a given that most employees want to be engaged and included at work, our study shows that employees often don’t have these experiences.

Indeed, we found that, overall, only 53% of employees indicate that they’re engaged at work—meaning that they are emotionally invested in the work they do and their company’s mission.17 This means that almost half of employees are not engaged.

However, our data show that when teams have inclusive norms, employees are more engaged.

On teams with high levels of inclusive norms, 88% report high levels of job engagement, compared to only 36% of employees on teams with low levels of inclusive norms.

Inclusive Team Norms Bolster Employees’ Experiences of Inclusion

Alarmingly, we found that only one of four employees report often or always experiencing inclusion at work—indicating that they are valued, trusted, authentic, and safe to make mistakes and take risks at work.19

But not surprisingly, our data show that when teams have inclusive norms, employees do, in fact, experience higher levels of inclusion at work.

Inclusive team norms are not the same as or interchangeable with employee experiences of inclusion. Like the inclusive leadership behaviors described in previous Catalyst research, these inclusive team norms are drivers of whether or not employees experience inclusion at work.

On teams with high levels of inclusive norms, 56% of employees report high levels of inclusion at work, compared to only 11% of employees on teams with low levels of inclusive norms.21

People from Marginalized Groups Experience Less Inclusion

To parse out different experiences of inclusion, we examined how survey responses varied at the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender. We found that:

  • Employees from marginalized racial and ethnic groups were less likely than White employees to experience high levels of inclusion at work.22
  • Trans and nonbinary employees were less likely than cisgender employees to experience high levels of inclusion at work.23 In fact, only 7% of trans and nonbinary employees experience inclusion in their workplaces. This strikingly low number is consistent with other research that shows the pervasive and overt discrimination they face at work.24
  • Interestingly, we did not find any significant differences between cisgender women and men.

These stark differences highlight the need to increase inclusion—especially for people from marginalized groups—at a time when uncertainty on many levels is affecting employees, teams, and organizations. Society, customers, and staff have been calling for more accountability in creating inclusive workplaces; these data show that there is still a long way to go, particularly for the full inclusion of employees who are marginalized based on race, ethnicity, and/or gender.

How to Develop Inclusive Teams

These findings show that inclusive team norms are the backbone of successful, productive, and innovative teams. Teams that can draw on team members’ differences, optimize their skills, and foster connection rather than conformity will be able to adapt to, and flourish under, any disruption. As unprecedented shifts force organizations and leaders to reimagine how and where we work,25 teams have a unique opportunity to lean into inclusion for everyone. The untapped benefits of inclusive team norms are within grasp if team members are willing to reach for them.

Inclusive team norms empower each of us to foster workplaces that enable everyone to belong, contribute, and thrive. As team members, we each have the power to co-create an equitable future of work. Start today with the following actions.

Promote Expressions of Difference:

Encourage perspectives that may counter the status quo and/or the team leader. Designate a rotating “noble adversary” role during problem-solving team meetings to challenge majority thinking and offer alternate ideas.

Challenge either/or thinking. For each claim or notion, consider, “Are there other ideas or perspectives that may also be true and important to include?” Then consider that there is no one singular truth; contrary beliefs and ideas can co-exist.

Seek everyone’s perspectives when problem-solving, ensuring that the full scope of available insight is considered. Minimize the power dynamics that influence whose perspectives are listened to and whose are overlooked.

Especially for Hybrid Workplaces:

  • Embrace schedule flexibility with asynchronous working, allowing colleagues with different schedules and life circumstances to contribute their voice during the times they are able to do their best work.
  • Make sure “out-of-sight” isn’t “out-of-mind”: Reach out to people who work in a different location than you to get their perspectives.
  • In meetings with people attending from different locations, ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak, not just people on site.

Remove Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bias by Promoting Expressions of Difference

Bias in AI is an increasingly pervasive problem, with new instances of discrimination discovered regularly. One critical source of this algorithmic bias is coder bias, which arises in the coder’s preparation of the data, training of an algorithm, and subsequent application. Prior research shows that homogenous teams create more biased AI systems;26 therefore, promoting expressions of difference is a critical tool for mitigating bias in the development and implementation of AI. Taking an intersectional approach to assembling a diverse AI development team is essential, yet we know the benefits of diversity are not achieved without inclusion. And this is where promoting expressions of difference is critical—so that during each stage of AI development, team members can voice their concerns, bring their unique viewpoints and experiences to the table, and ultimately develop more equitable and effective AI.

Foster a Team Coaching Climate:

Make team coaching a goal tied to performance reviews. Reward and standardize the practice as a valuable and necessary aspect of team and individual success.

Acknowledge that mistakes are inevitable and a critical component of growth and learning. Tackling new challenges and learning new skills require an openness to risk and the potential for mistakes—and the lessons they teach. Team members who back one another help individuals and the team as a whole grow and develop.

Encourage and respect the qualities that make each team member unique, such as their backgrounds, skillsets, and areas of expertise. Maintain a shared document that lists team members’ unique skills as a resource for who to turn to for a given topic or project.

Especially for Hybrid Workplaces:

  • Be open about what’s working and what could be improved in a hybrid workplace.
  • Commit as a team to sharing feedback and helping one another model behavior that is inclusive of everyone, no matter where or when they are working.
  • Take a remote-first approach to coaching and mentoring so all team members benefit, regardless of location.
  • Have regular virtual team check-ins where socializing and getting to know one another is a primary goal, and intentionally allot time for team building as part of normal team functioning (e.g., through ice breaker questions at the start of each meeting). This will build rapport and trust, which is helpful for giving and receiving feedback.

Codify Fair Team Decision-Making Practices:

Develop a set of clear, written guidelines for team decision-making. Be sure to revisit and revise regularly to ensure inclusion and efficiency.

Keep an eye on equity. Prioritize fairness and consistency throughout the decision-making process.

Communication and transparency are critical. Make sure everyone knows how team decisions will be made and how to correct any errors in decision-making.

Especially for Hybrid Workplaces:

  • Measure the inclusiveness of your team and keep tabs on it over time. This process will allow you to assess processes for equity and improvement.
  • Create a team charter to establish norms and practices for communication etiquette; collaboration norms, including which technologies are used for specific tasks; and any other relevant team processes. Codify with written records that are easily accessible by everyone.
  • Implement a remote-first approach—where everyone operates as if working remotely—by logging on from individual laptops/workstations for meetings when some folks are in the office together while others are working offsite.

Methodology & Country Breakouts

SummaryGender x CountryEthnicity x Gender x Country

Analysis: We employed multiple advanced statistical analyses to determine the underlying components of inclusive team norms and their relationships with team and individual success. Specifically, we conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, structural equation models, reliability analyses, and chi-square analyses.

Using best practices for structural equation modeling (SEM),27 we were able to differentiate the aspects of the team environment that define inclusive team norms from other, related, team dynamics.

We determined that inclusive team norms are composed of three elements: Promoting Expressions of Difference, Team Coaching Climate, and Fair Team Decision-Making Practices. By using SEM, we were able to remove noise in the data and isolate the unique relationship between inclusive team norms as a higher-order construct with team and individual outcomes.

Computation: The three inclusive team norms are measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. The average of the three norms was taken to create a composite variable, which was then dichotomized at low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) and high levels (often, always) for chi-square analyses. Of our respondents, 69% (n = 2,992) reported never, rarely, or sometimes experiencing inclusive team norms (i.e., low levels), and 31% (n = 1,373) reported often or always experiencing inclusive team norms (i.e., high levels). All team and individual outcomes were also measured on the same scale and dichotomized in the same manner.

Country Demographics: We collected data in over 80 countries, but due to sample size constraints we are only able to present demographic breakdowns for gender in 14 countries. We also provide breakdowns by race or ethnicity and gender for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; in these four White-majority countries, it is legal to collect racial and/or ethnic demographic data and we had sufficient sample size. In White-majority countries, people from marginalized racial and ethnic groups continue to face systemic racism within and outside of work, reflecting a shared—though certainly not identical—experience of oppression.28

We conducted analyses for race or ethnicity and gender using just this subset of data because the boundaries and identities of racial and ethnic groups are socially and regionally defined29 and are difficult to meaningfully combine in a global analysis.

 

Demographics for Gender in the Top 14 Countries
Women Men Trans and Nonbinary Employees
Australia
n = 403
45% 54% 1%
Brazil
n = 384
34% 63% 2%
Canada
n = 222
46% 53% 1%
China
n = 172
55% 42% 2%
France
n = 243
63% 37% <1%
Germany
n = 281
45% 53% 2%
Hong Kong
n = 105
43% 54% 3%
India
n = 452
34% 65% 1%
Mexico
n = 309
23% 73% 4%
The Netherlands
n = 349
37% 62% 1%
Singapore
n = 114
42% 58% <1%
Sweden
n = 267
35% 64% <1%
United Kingdom
n = 585
60% 40% <1%
United States
n = 333
52% 48% 1%
Note. Total percentages for each country may exceed 100 due to rounding.

 

Demographics for Race or Ethnicity by Gender in Australia, Canada,
the United Kingdom, and the United States
Racially or Ethnically Marginalized Women Racially or Ethnically Marginalized Men White Women White Men
Australia 13% 13% 26% 26%
Canada 16% 18% 22% 25%
United Kingdom 7% 5% 53% 34%
United States 17% 16% 32% 31%
Note. Respondents were not required to provide demographic information about their race, ethnicity, or gender, so total percentages may not sum to 100.

 

 

Inclusive Team Norms by Gender and Country

In this study, we sought to uncover patterns in our data from an intersectional approach. Due to sample size limitations, group breakouts on study variables are only provided when there are enough data. These data are also intended to show patterns that speak to this shared reality and are not presented or analyzed for cross-country comparisons. Across the board, we see scores are low on experiences of inclusive team norms, with slight variations among countries.

 

% of Employees Experiencing Inclusive Team Norms by Gender and Country
Women Men Total
Australia 31% 32% 32%
Brazil 38% 33% 34%
Canada 33% 29% 31%
China 24% 30% 26%
France 18% 15% 18%
Germany 21% 24% 22%
Hong Kong 22% 14% 18%
India 59% 54% 56%
Mexico 42% 42% 41%
Netherlands 18% 23% 21%
Singapore 17% 18% 18%
Sweden 23% 25% 24%
United Kingdom 27% 30% 28%
United States 42% 41% 41%
Note. The breakdown of gender by country yielded very small sample sizes of trans and nonbinary respondents, so we are unable to provide percentages for them in each country. However, we are able to provide percentages for the slightly larger sample of trans and nonbinary respondents in Mexico (n = 13), 38% of whom experience inclusive team norms.

Even if half of your employees experience inclusive team norms that means that the other half do not. And do you want to celebrate when your organization is functioning at only 50%? Mediocrity is not enough—we must ensure that all team members are flourishing and having fair and supportive experiences at work to achieve business outcomes.

 

Inclusive Team Norms by Race or Ethnicity, Gender, and Country

In White-majority countries, there are some meaningful group differences based on race or ethnicity: Overall, employees from marginalized racial or ethnic groups are less likely to experience inclusive team norms compared to White employees,30 with men from marginalized racial or ethnic groups experiencing the lowest levels.31

 

% Experiencing Inclusive Team Norms by Race or Ethnicity, Gender, and Country
Racially or Ethnically Marginalized Women and Men White Women and Men
Women Men Total  Women  Men  Total
Australia 20% 19% 20% 32% 34% 33%
Canada 26% 24% 25% 37% 33% 35%
United Kingdom 21% 19% 20% 28% 32% 29%
United States 40% 21% 31% 44% 51% 47%

 

Experiences of Employee Inclusion by Race or Ethnicity, Gender, and Country

Across the board in White-majority countries, people from racially or ethnically marginalized groups experience lower levels of inclusion,32 and when we take a closer look by gender, we see meaningful patterns:33

  • Men from marginalized racial or ethnic groups tend to have the lowest scores.
  • Women from marginalized racial or ethnic groups also tend to experience less inclusion than White women and White men.
  • White women tend to experience the most inclusion.

 

% Experiencing Inclusion by Race or Ethnicity, Gender, and Country
Racially or Ethnically Marginalized Women and Men White Women and Men
Women Men Total Women Men Total
Australia 16% 11% 14% 30% 26% 28%
Canada 20% 17% 18% 37% 27% 32%
United Kingdom 15% 19% 20% 27% 30% 28%
United States 30% 25% 28% 39% 32% 35%

These findings speak to the importance of taking a hard look at intersectional patterns of inclusion to ensure you are asking the right questions, challenging assumptions, and targeting interventions to help foster an inclusive work environment.

Acknowledgments

We thank our Lead for Equity and Inclusion donors for their generous support of our work in this area.

 

Lead Donor

Pfizer logo

 

Major Donors

     McDonald’s Corporation

Morgan Stanley     Nationwide

 

Partner Donors
The Coca-Cola Company
Dell
KeyBank
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
KKR
KPMG
Raytheon Technologies

 

Supporter Donors
Edward Jones
Pitney Bowes Inc.

 

We thank our Women and the Future of Work donors for their generous support of our work in this area.

 

Lead Donor
Lockheed Martin Logo

 

Major Donors

EY company logo     McDonald’s Corporation

Blue Visa logo.

 

Partner Donors
Dell
DSM Brighter Living Foundation
KPMG

 

Supporter Donors
CIBC
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Lema Charitable Fund
Pitney Bowes Inc.

 

How to cite: Brassel, S., Van Bommel, T., & Robotham, K. (2022). Three inclusive team norms that drive success. Catalyst.

Endnotes

  1. Total exceeds 100% due to rounding.
  2. Feldman, D. C. (1984). The development and enforcement of group norms. Academy of Management Review, 9(1), 47-53; Taggar, S. & Ellis, R. (2007). The role of leaders in shaping formal team norms. The leadership quarterly, 18(2), 105-120.
  3. Feldman (1984); Taggar & Ellis (2007).
  4. Nishii, L. H. (2013). The benefits of climate for inclusion for gender-diverse groups. Academy of Management Journal, 56(6), 1754-1774.
  5. Hacking diversity with inclusive decision making. (n.d.). Cloverpop.
  6. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusive team norms at work does not significantly differ by respondent gender, Χ2 (2) = 3.46, p = .177.  27% of respondents who identified as transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or with another gender identity on the trans spectrum often or always experienced inclusive team norms at work, compared to 33% of respondents who identified as only male, and 30% of respondents who identified as only female (25%).
  7. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who are often or always included at work significantly differs by respondent gender, Χ2 (2) = 12.26, p = .002. Respondents who identified as transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, or with another gender identity on the trans spectrum were less likely to often or always experience inclusion (7%) compared to respondents who identified as only male (25%) or only female (25%).
  8. Erickson, T. (2012, April 5). The biggest mistake you (probably) make with teams. Harvard Business Review; Mesmer-Magnus, J. R. & DeChurch, L. A. (2009). Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 535.
  9. Langfred, C. W. (2005). Autonomy and performance in teams: The multilevel moderating effect of task interdependence. Journal of Management, 31(4), 513-529; Evans, C. R. & Dion, K. L. (2012). Group cohesion and performance: A meta-analysis. Small Group Research, 43(6), 690-701.
  10. This report is theoretically grounded in a literature review that was conducted to identify key phenomena related to inclusive teams and experiences of inclusion in the workplace. We then developed a comprehensive survey to measure constructs identified in our review. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the best-fitting model for the latent composite of Inclusive Team Norms contained three indicators: Team Coaching Climate, Fair Team Decision-Making Practices, and Promoting Expressions of Difference. Our model fit the data well: RMSEA = .031 [0.028, .033], CFI = .99, SRMR = .016. All three of these indicators of inclusive team norms had strong factor loadings of .96, .98, and .94 for Team Coaching Climate, Fair Team Decision-Making Practices, and Promoting Expressions of Difference, respectively. We analyzed alternate models as well using other team climate variables identified in our review (e.g., task interdependence, team cohesion) but they had poorer fit both statistically and theoretically compared to the model with Team Coaching Climate, Fair Team Practices, and Promoting Expressions of Difference.
  11. Team innovation is measured with six items, α = .91, measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. These items were averaged to create a composite variable.
  12. Our structural equation model for inclusive team norms on team innovation had good fit: RMSEA = .038 [.036, .041], CFI = .98, SRMR = .018; and there was a strong, direct relationship between inclusive team norms and team innovation, standardized b = .82, p < .001, such that as employees’ perceptions of inclusive team norms increased by 1 standard deviation, their perceptions of team innovation increase by .82 of a standard deviation. Inclusive team norms explain 68% of the variance in team innovation. A chi-square test was conducted on the dichotomized variables, revealing a significant difference in the percentage of those with high levels of inclusive team norms (often and always) and those with low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) who report their team is often or always innovative, Χ2 (1) = 1441.49, p < .001.
  13. Team problem-solving is measured with five items, α = .89, measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. These items were averaged to create a composite variable.
  14. Our structural equation model for inclusive team norms on team problem-solving had good fit: RMSEA = .034 [.031, .036], CFI = .99, SRMR = .017; and there was a strong, direct relationship between inclusive team norms and team problem-solving, standardized b = .89, p < .001, such that as employees’ perceptions of inclusive team norms increased by 1 standard deviation, their perceptions of team problem-solving increase by .89 of a standard deviation. Inclusive team norms explain 79% of the variance in team problem-solving. A chi-square test was conducted on the dichotomized variables, revealing a significant difference in the percentage of those with high levels of inclusive team norms (often and always) and those with low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) who report their team is often or always effective at problem-solving, Χ2 (1) = 1674.22, p < .001.
  15. Team citizenship is measured with four items, α = .84, measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. These items were averaged to create a composite variable.
  16. Our structural equation model for inclusive team norms on team citizenship had good fit: RMSEA = .032 [.029, .034], CFI = .99, SRMR = .017; and there was a strong, direct relationship between inclusive team norms and team citizenship, standardized b = .83, p < .001, such that as employees’ perceptions of inclusive team norms increased by 1 standard deviation, their perceptions of team citizenship increase by .83 of a standard deviation. Inclusive team norms explain 69% of the variance in team citizenship. A chi-square test was conducted on the dichotomized variables, revealing a significant difference in the percentage of those with high levels of inclusive team norms (often and always) and those with low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) who report their team often or always engages in citizenship behaviors, Χ2 (1) = 1500.76, p < .001.
  17. Employee engagement is measured with five items, α = .88, measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. These items were averaged to create a composite variable.
  18. Our structural equation model for inclusive team norms on employee engagement had good fit: RMSEA = .030 [.028, .033], CFI = .99, SRMR = .016; and there was a strong, direct relationship between inclusive team norms and employee engagement, standardized b = .72, p < .001, such that as employees’ perceptions of inclusive team norms increased by 1 standard deviation, employee levels of engagement increase by .72 of a standard deviation. Inclusive team norms explain 51% of the variance in individual employee engagement. A chi-square test was conducted on the dichotomized variables, revealing a significant difference in the percentage of those with high levels of inclusive team norms (often and always) and those with low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) who report that they are often or always engaged at work, Χ2 (1) = 1006.16, p < .001.
  19. Experiences of inclusion were measured using 19 items, α = .88, measured on a 1 (never) to 5 (always) Likert scale. These 19 items represent five subscales of inclusion: Trusted (5 items), Valued (4 items), Authentic (3 items), Psychological Safety: Latitude (4 items), and Psychological Safety: Risk Taking (3 items). These subscales were averaged to create a composite variable.
  20. Travis, D. J., Shaffer, E., & Thorpe-Moscon, J. (2019). Getting real about inclusive leadership: Why change starts with you. Catalyst.
  21. Our structural equation model for inclusive team norms on employee experiences of inclusion had good fit: RMSEA = .031 [0.29, .034], CFI = .99, SRMR = .016; and there was a strong, direct relationship between inclusive team norms and individual experiences of inclusion, standardized b = .78, p < .001, such that as employees’ perceptions of inclusive team norms increased by 1 standard deviation, employee levels of inclusion increase by .78 of a standard deviation. Inclusive team norms explain 60% of the variance in employees’ experiences of inclusion. A chi-square test was conducted on the dichotomized variables, revealing a significant difference in the percentage of those with high levels of inclusive team norms (often and always) and those with low levels (never, rarely, sometimes) who report that they are often or always included at work, Χ2 (1) = 1039.15, p < .001.
  22. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusion at work significantly differs by respondent race or ethnicity, Χ2 (1) = 13.39, p < .001, and respondent race or ethnicity by gender, Χ2 (3) =15.14, p = .002.
  23. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who are often or always included at work significantly differs by respondent gender, Χ2 (2) = 12.26, p = .002.
  24. James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. National Center for Transgender Equality.
  25. Ohm, J., Travis, D. J., Pasquarella Daley, L., Sattari, N., Shaffer, E., Van Bommel, T., & Foust-Cummings, H. (2020). Covid-19: Women, equity, and inclusion in the future of work. Catalyst.
  26. Pasquarella Daley, L. (2019); AI and gender bias: Trend brief. Catalyst.
  27. Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. Guilford publications.
  28. Ramos, C. (2021). Racism in the workplace: Expert voices from around the world. Catalyst.
  29. Smedley, A. & Smedley, B. D. (2005). Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives on the social construction of race. American psychologist, 60(1), 16-26.
  30. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusive team norms at work significantly differs by respondent race or ethnicity, Χ2 (1) = 12.33, p < .001. Overall, 24% of employees from marginalized racial or ethnic groups experience inclusive team norms compared to 34% of White employees.
  31. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusive team norms at work significantly differs by respondent race or ethnicity and gender, Χ2 (3) = 16.83, p = .001. Due to small sample size, we were unable to include trans and nonbinary employees in this analysis. Overall, 21% of men from marginalized racial or ethnic groups experience inclusive team norms compared to 28% of women from marginalized racial or ethnic groups, 32% of White women, and 37% of White men.
  32. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusion at work significantly differs by respondent race or ethnicity, Χ2 (1) = 13.39, p < .001.
  33. A chi-square analysis revealed that the percentage of individuals who often or always experience inclusion at work significantly differs by respondent race or ethnicity and gender, Χ2 (3) =15.14, p = .002. Due to small sample size, we were unable to include trans and nonbinary employees in this analysis. 19% of men from marginalized racial or ethnic groups experience inclusive team norms compared to 21% of women from marginalized racial or ethnic groups, 31% of White women, and 29% of White men.