Creating a workplace that is welcoming and inclusive to all employees isn’t only morally right, but makes good business sense too.
Having a diverse workforce with staff from different cultures, perspectives, backgrounds, and abilities can lead to increased productivity, innovation, and creativity.
Whether you’ve just launched a company or you’ve been in the business world for many years, concentrating on inclusivity and bringing people from all walks of life on board with your brand can be a real game changer and set you apart from rivals. To build a more inclusive workplace, here are some actions to take today.
Reassess Your Hiring Strategy
Create a diverse workforce and promote inclusivity, it all begins with the hiring process. Of course, you’ll want the best employees to walk through the door and jump on board with your brand.
However, you must strive to attract candidates from different backgrounds and ensure that recruitment efforts and job postings are inclusive and welcoming. Hiring managers must be trained in diversity and inclusion best practices. Also, ensure the hiring team considers a diverse pool of candidates for each job opening.
Use Inclusive Language
One of the most fundamental things you can do to build an inclusive workplace is by using inclusive language. Words mean a lot and can be the difference between employees feeling respected and valued and looking elsewhere for employment.
If you are uncertain about what language to use, ask an employee about their preferred language and respect it. Never assume what they like based on stereotypes. Something as simple as using the correct pronouns can mean everything.
Also, be careful of how your phrases and words will be interpreted. You must avoid offensive terms and discriminatory language. Should you ever use offensive language by accident, make sure to apologize for your mistakes so that it will not happen again.
Concentrate On Accessibility
To put it simply, accessibility is good for business. Having your company open to candidates with different types of disabilities will not only elevate your reputation but show that you care and give a fair chance to employees across the board.
For example, something as simple as using accessible PDFs will mean you have created content in a way that can be read and used by everyone, regardless of disability.
You can find out more at https://abledocs.com/, which are leaders in digital accessibility products and services. They are a business that solely focuses on creating innovative accessibility software for everyone.
Create Safe Zones for Employees
A huge part of having an inclusive workplace culture is ensuring the comfort and safety of all staff are addressed, particularly those from underrepresented groups. For example, building unisex toilets or comfort rooms to cater to transgender employees can make a real difference.
Employees with a disability should have access to a comfortable and safe working environment, which allows them to fulfill their roles properly. There are numerous actions you can take, like creating accessible parking spots, bathrooms, and toilets. Also, building ramps and modifying work areas to include wheelchair-accessible equipment is essential.
Provide Diversity Training
You will already be aware of how important regular training is for employees. Whether it’s teambuilding exercises or how to use new software and tech, one type of training you should implement for all staff is diversity.
Training employees on diversity and inclusion is brilliant for raising awareness and fostering a culture of inclusion in the workplace. There are online courses, seminars, and workshops team members can partake in that cover topics like cultural competence, unconscious bias, and inclusive communication. Make sure any training you implement is ongoing and accessible for all employees.
Have a Non-Discrimination Policy
If there is one thing you should have in place from the offset in business, it’s a non-discrimination policy. It’s your responsibility to renew your practices and policies to ensure they’re inclusive and don’t discriminate against any members of staff.
This could include policies linked to promotions, recruitment, benefits, pay, and flexible work arrangements. Employees must establish clear channels for staff to report any incidents of harassment or discrimination, as well as complaints being promptly addressed confidentially.
Build Mentorship Programmes
Mentorship programs are brilliant for fostering cross-cultural engagement. With that said, make sure to assign sponsors, mentors, and proteges as part of a co-mentoring relationship between staff from different backgrounds, identities, or religions.
Cross-cultural relationships enable individuals to grow by learning new perspectives. Mentorship programs can also improve personal and career development, onboarding, and productivity, and breed better workplace leaders.
Foster Inclusive Leadership
Leaders at all levels of the organization play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive workplace culture. They should model inclusive behavior by treating all members of staff with respect, valuing diverse perspectives, and promoting a culture of inclusivity. Leaders should actively seek out input from staff, listen to their worries and concerns, and take action where necessary.
Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion
Business heads should promote a culture that values and celebrates diversity and inclusion. This can be achieved by recognizing diversity-related events, like cultural heritage months, as well as creating outlets for staff to share their thoughts and experiences.
You should also promote diversity in your marketing efforts too. This includes your social media pages, website, and company blog. When you take an active interest in diversity and inclusion, this helps staff feel respected and appreciated. What’s more, employees feel like they have a voice within the business and feel heard.
Regardless of what kind of business you run or the field you’re in, diversity and inclusivity should go hand in hand. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure every member of the team feels supported and valued at work, regardless of their background, ability, gender, religion, or sexuality.
When you take the actions above on board and implement them in your operation, not only will you create a truly inclusive workplace culture, but you’ll also find your team is more productive, engaged, and willing to go the extra mile to elevate your business.
Arnab is a passionate blogger. He shares sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. To get more of his contributions, follow Smart Business Daily.