Top 10 Ways to Promote Inclusivity in the Workplace
We celebrate Pride Month—a reminder that LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide have the right to express themselves and celebrate their identities. This observance highlights diversity and acceptance, providing a platform for discussing human rights and equality.
Recently, hirers like you have realized the value of inclusivity in the workplace. Here are some of them:
Access to new ideas and viewpoints When team members have different backgrounds, they bring something new to the table. This way, you gather novel ways of viewing and solving issues, helping the company make sounder decisions.
Better teamwork When your employees respect each other, they collaborate more efficiently, which results in project success. Inclusive settings encourage meaningful dialogue and trust, improving employee engagement and productivity.
Employee retention Employees who feel accepted and valued will likely stay longer in your company. This ensures you retain top talent, allowing them to grow with your business. High employee turnovers result in additional costs because you have to train new hires constantly.
Client satisfaction A diverse workforce can better cater to various markets. With inclusion, your company is equipped to fulfill the needs of a wide range of clientele, helping you increase customer satisfaction.
Social responsibility Companies that are mindful of their social responsibilities show ethical leadership. This indicates that you want to impact your workplace and community positively. But workplace inclusivity has become a two-way street, with today's jobseekers actively seeking it among potential employers. According to JobStreet's Decoding Global Talent, 68.7% of candidates would choose companies that embody social values, such as diversity and inclusion, in the workplace. More than half of the respondents stated that they would willingly exclude companies that are not socially aware. If you want to cultivate an inclusive workplace, know that it takes time, effort and your whole company's full participation. Instead of displaying a rainbow flag, your commitment should run deeper. As a leader or manager, it's your responsibility to spark the change, cascade it to team members, and partner with them to create an accessible and accepting environment.
10 ways for encouraging inclusivity in the workplace
Whatever your office setup—fully remote, hybrid or in-person—you can promote diversity and empathy in different ways. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1 . Hold inclusivity talks Providing your employees with ongoing education means equipping them with not only skills but also awareness. Regularly schedule talks featuring diverse speakers within or outside the company. Whether the speaker is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a PWD (person with disability), or from a unique cultural background, remember to create a safe and respectful environment. Structure the talks and set ground rules for communication to ensure fruitful sessions.
2. Give sensitivity trainings What is socially acceptable to some may be offensive to others. Conducting inclusion workshops addresses and prevents potential issues. Evaluating hidden prejudices, learning about different cultures, and understanding the effects of one's speech and actions can strengthen teamwork. It also builds your reputation as a champion of diversity.
3. Build an inclusive culture Celebrating Pride Month annually is great—but the real commitment lies in the daily practices and company mindset that shape your work culture. One way to do this is to encourage open communication and active listening. Encourage managers to empower their teammates by giving them opportunities to pitch ideas, lead mini-projects, and offer feedback. Define and promote respectful language, letting everyone feel recognized and validated.
4. Set a good example Employees take their cue from company leaders like you. They will likely follow your lead if they see diversity in your words, actions, and decisions. Establish standards for respectful interaction and follow them. Leading by example is one of the most effective strategies for ensuring your company's performance and growth.
5. Create a safe space While workplace safety typically means managing health hazards and physical risks, it should also involve providing psychological protection for employees. In such an environment, workers should feel secure in sharing opinions and expressing their individuality without fear of ridicule or discrimination. With open dialogue and courtesy, all employees can feel supported and welcome.
6. Help employees take pride in their diversity Employee resource groups (ERGs) help individuals with similar backgrounds, identities and advocacies to band together and support each other. Aside from encouraging the formation of these groups, partner with them so you can craft better policies and strategies that foster inclusion. ERGs can also help spread awareness by guiding and mentoring co-employees, boosting their chances for career advancement within your company.
7. Carry out diversity policies Your advocacy carries more weight when you formalize it with policies. Though the Labor Code already protects employees from discrimination on gender, age, and disabilities, strengthen your company policies that prevent harassment and prejudice. Now is an excellent time to review your guidelines and procedures to ensure these practice inclusion.
8. Give others a chance to lead After examining project requirements and skills needed, consider rotating project managers. This way, you gain fresh perspectives while allowing other employees to gain leadership skills. Rotation also empowers team members, giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility. From a managerial point of view, this tactic ensures project succession because you don't have to rely on one person to lead the team.
9. Streamline communication methods So much can get lost in translation, especially if you're implementing hybrid or remote work arrangements. To prevent misunderstandings and conflict, adopt the right communication style for the setup. It also helps to ask about your employees' preferred mode and guidelines. Schedule quick alignment meetings, use email for major announcements and developments, and chat about your job-specific requests.
In-person meetings can also breed miscommunication. To avoid this, encourage everyone to speak and listen to facilitate active participation and collaboration. Also read: Which Works Best for Your Company? Know the Difference Between Remote and Hybrid Work!
10. Promote cultural diversity Celebrate cultural holidays and celebrations to let employees know you acknowledge and respect their different backgrounds. This inspires a sense of belonging among your diverse workers, allowing them to embrace their identities. Encourage them to share their traditions to foster understanding among your employees. This exposes everyone to various viewpoints, which may spark creativity and innovation.
Inclusivity is more than just tolerating other people's beliefs and values; it's about accepting and appreciating others because everyone deserves to be recognized. Team diversity opens many opportunities for business growth and your employees' personal development. With everyone working together, you can achieve seemingly impossible goals.
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