The majority of leaders and business owners believe in creating an inclusive workplace. However, how and what inclusivity entails differs from one organization to the next. Some businesses will enforce social skills through unconscious bias training. Other businesses practice inclusivity by retaining and hiring employees from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Such initiatives are excellent starting points. Companies, on the other hand, should work to foster a culture that values diverse people, perspectives, experiences, and ideas. The key is to truly value each individual, their experiences, and their ideas. Continue reading to learn how your company can create a more inclusive workplace.
1. Educate Leaders
Managers and executives play an important role in enforcing an organization’s culture and values. They are constantly on the front lines, and the experiences they provide can make or break the inclusivity culture.
Mandatory training and a course on the importance of inclusion in the workplace can effectively explore and create a positive work environment. Leaders must understand, teach, and model inclusive behaviors. Bosses at all levels require knowledge and training on unconscious bias, which occurs when managers judge employees based on race, gender, and other factors without realizing it.
According to research, training promotes models and strategies that improve inclusion, such as carefully selecting an inclusive language, providing equal opportunities in meetings, and actively listening to employees.
Companies ought to often evaluate professional development to ensure their leaders have opportunities to help them learn how to deal with real-life scenarios like accommodating employees with a learning disability or one who struggles with childcare issues as a single parent.
2. Actively Listen
Listen to the diverse perspectives of your team members to demonstrate empathy. First, listen, then observe, and finally act. Open conversations can make people feel more at ease speaking without fear of being judged.
Establish deliberate practices to provide equal opportunity for all perspectives, voices, interests, and personalities within the organization. You will be able to harness the entirety of greater diversity for progress by leveraging your problem-solving strengths. As a result, you create a team that values equity, diversity, and inclusion.
3. Create initiatives and events that focus on inclusivity
When it comes to working initiatives and events that celebrate and support inclusion, you can accomplish a lot. You can invite guest speakers to speak on a variety of topics.
Ensure that the events’ activities support and promote diversity. People you invite to public events should understand people and their differences, as well as the importance of inclusion. As you celebrate an inclusive workplace culture, the company’s fundraisers and charitable events should foster and encourage morale and team building.
4. Create an inclusive language
An inclusive culture employs language and words that make people feel valued, included, and secure. Employees must believe that they are all working toward the same goal. Non-inclusive language, whether intended or not, can be harmful to people.
Non-inclusive potential words embedded in workflows or processes should be intentionally identified and avoided by inclusive leaders. Gender plural words like “you guys,” for example, can make non-binary or female teammates feel excluded. To model an inclusive workplace, use the pronouns that each employee prefers in email signatures, slack names, or org charts.
5. Create a safe space
Companies should make sure that every employee feels accepted and valued. By providing gender-neutral restrooms and resources, most have done an excellent job of promoting genderqueer and non-binary inclusion. Consider it if your company hasn’t already.
Consider lactation rooms for nursing mothers, as well as meditation and prayer areas for everyone’s well-being. The open floor plans at work can overstimulate or distract some employees. As a result, a quiet workspace can be beneficial.
Employee resource groups can also help foster workplace diversity and inclusivity that aligns with the organization’s goals. Providing more opportunities for employees to feel like they belong helps with business outcomes. You build a peer group that values each employee’s uniqueness.
6. Reward Performance
Recognizing and rewarding employees creates an inclusive environment. Doing so boosts morale and productivity. It also engages the employees more. You can also emphasize the company’s values by reading about specific singled-out behaviors. Make your employees feel appreciated and recognized.
Consistently rewarding the same behavior sends your employees the message about what talents and skills the company values. Diversify and focus on less visible contributions to give your workers the same opportunities to feel appreciated for their different abilities, not disabilities. Remember that every employee is different from the diverse schools and functions in a unique way. Doing so will help the workplace culture and workers flourish.
7. Hold Effective Meetings
How employees interact with each other tells a lot about the inclusive practices of the workplace. The most impactful thing is not what the company’s highest-ranking executive says but the experiences you have with the people you work with every day.
Meetings can create equal opportunities for employees to feel a sense of belonging and appreciation. Foster inclusive environments where everyone can have an impact and their contributions are of value. You can do so by:
- Sharing questions and distributing materials for the meeting in advance. Doing so will help introverts and employees who struggle with English get ample time to process information and function better.
- Make virtual meetings a meaningful experience by using the best technology to reach out to your teleworkers.
Give all employees equal access by rotating meetings for remote workers in different time zones. Welcome, everyone, as a sign of appreciation and care for their well-being. Ask questions and give individuals a chance to respond so they can get the opportunity to be part of the conversation.
8. Collaboration and Empowerment
By creating an inclusive and collaborative environment at work, you can achieve common objectives and goals. As a leader, communicate clearly to unify your diverse workforce. Doing so helps to create a shared purpose, group identity, and meaning. Inclusive workplaces develop and empower others by fostering innovative and creative opportunities.
Do You Want to Know About More Inclusive Workplaces? Welcome to Hyphens and Spaces
You can reach out to Hyphens and Spaces to help foster inclusion in your organization. We have the necessary assessment tools to observe and review the inclusion process in order to implement change toward an equitable and inclusive culture in the workplace.
Hyphens and Spaces help promote education through learning programs to get workers in an organization to experience a meaningful life and a sense of belonging. For more information, contact Hyphens and Spaces. Send an email to [email protected].