Inclusivity in the workplace is essential for any company’s success. Essentially, inclusivity is the ability to bring together people from all backgrounds and cultures and unite them toward a cause.
When done right, inclusivity and diversity will help your business grow and ensure that your organization remains socially and morally compliant.
Inclusivity in the Workplace
Before we talk about ways to achieve an inclusive work culture, let us first look at what inclusivity in the workplace feels like. Inclusivity in the workplace happens when everyone is in the workplace:
- Feels like they have a say in matters related to the workplace.
- Is fully themselves when working together and are not acting a certain way to appease managers.
- Has a certain influence over their decision-making processes and the actions they take.
- Has access to all the right resources and information.
- Faces no obstacles whatsoever while contributing and participating in workplace meetings and discussions.
Regarding discussions about better workplace culture, diversity and inclusion are all mentioned in the same breath. These words are often mentioned interchangeably, without fail. However, we do feel that they are a bit different in the services they provide.
“Diversity is making sure that every sector in society is represented,
and inclusion is making sure that everybody has a voice and included.”
Dr. Valeria Lo Iacono
As individuals, we happen to be a mix of different demographics and diversities. We gain our individuality from items like the list below:
- Disabilities or abilities
- Socioeconomic status
- Sexual orientation
- Cultural background
Organizations who strive to make their workplaces more inclusive and give everyone an equal opportunity can effectively do so by focusing on the factors above.
Below, we mention some actionable tips that managers and entrepreneurs can follow to create an inclusive work culture. Work on these steps to ensure that you get the desired results and benefit from them in the long run.
Consider Diversity Training for Everyone
Diversity training is necessary for everyone in the workplace today. As the number of employees grows, your employees tend to have specific ways of doing things and particular preferences, which are determined by the kind of people they live with and the cultural background they are from.
In the workplace, people with all kinds of cultural backgrounds come together and manage their affairs under one company. Hence, employees need to be trained in topics such as unconscious bias, which can otherwise influence perceptions regarding other employees, which challenge the inclusivity you aspire to achieve.
Improve Accessibility in the Workplace
Many countries have embedded the need to treat disabled employees with love and respect into the law of many countries today. While legal implications do govern this, we believe a lot more needs to be done for actionable results to come through.
A concentrated effort should be made to make your office and workplace more accessible for people with varying abilities. Not only is this the right thing to morally do, but it also lets your employees know that you care for them as your employees, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.
Create a Safe and Secure Environment
The environment that you create inside your workplace should be safe and secure for everyone to follow. Getting the hang of emotional intelligence and psychological safety is an important goal here.You should make sure that you actively work together in an inclusive work environment.
Some employees may dominate team meetings and are more vocal than others, but you should look to get representation and verbal approvals from everyone. People who don’t often present their ideas may have a decent imagination and guide you with creative solutions. Such employees should be given the liberty to think and come up with their own solutions.
Openly Embrace Diversity
Follow the trickle-down effect and openly embrace diversity at the top of the hierarchy so that everyone else believes in the same boat as well and follows the principles of inclusivity. As a manager, you can raise your understanding of diversity by working on the following:
- Reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of your own identity
- Take and generate feedback from everyone about their experience with inclusivity in the firm.
- Elicit feedback about your style of leadership.
- Find out about different cultures and know more.
- Be an active listener to understand what people from different backgrounds have to say to you.
Provide Inclusion Training During the Onboarding Process
The right time to instill your company culture within new hires is just when they join your organization. Hire individuals who promise to be the right fit for your organization and hone them by adding the right scoop of everything inside them.
Including diversity training as part of the induction training process also solidifies the perception that you expect a high sense of inclusion and diversity within your workplace. It will help transfer the importance of diversity in your workplace to all potential new hires.
Likewise, the training process can be a good way for the HR department or the relevant training personnel to tell employees just how they can reach the correct department to complain about cases of mistreatment. You need to make new employees feel comfortable and let them know you take this inclusivity seriously from the beginning.
As an employer, it is essential for one to be open-minded and understand everyone; these are crucial qualities. The workplace can be intimidating, but everyone working for you will feel welcome by creating and maintaining an inclusive environment.