An inclusive workplace is an environment that values and appreciates the diversity of its workforce. It is a workplace that embraces employees’ differences in terms of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, worldviews, background, perspective on issues, and much more. In turn, these differences harness creativity and innovation. The key component of an inclusive workplace is making all employees feel valued for their strength and treated with respect. They should feel a sense of belonging and included in the workplace. So, how can we build an inclusive workplace?
- Committing to Equality
Creating equal opportunities can go a long way in building and maintaining an inclusive workplace. An equal opportunity during the recruitment process is where inclusivity begins. The focus should be on a candidate’s innate talent such as intelligence and creativity. This way one’s underlying capabilities and strength act as a bargaining chip for getting hired. Equality and fairness in other factors like pay, board representation, talent development need to be upheld and companies should actively work to bridge these gaps through measures such as; equal pay for similar work, equal representation at all levels of the organization, and also set targets on when and how they will achieve the inclusivity goals.
Educating employees and managers about inclusion helps everyone to be more understanding and accepting. For managers, They should make decisions that show commitment to inclusivity and also help nurture an inclusive culture through ways such as having inclusive policies, systems & procedures and, availing necessary resources such as funds for inclusion training.
Employees must also do their part in learning for personal growth and development. learning broadens one’s perspective on various subjects and also enables one to reach their full potential. Inclusion Training is recommended for employees to better equip them to better interact with those colleagues from different backgrounds or with a different perspective.
Workplace communication can help develop an inclusive culture. Forums that solicit diversity engagement should be encouraged. Encouraging employees to have a voice in organisation decisions that affect them makes them feel valued and accepted. Inclusive communication should also be encouraged during sensitive instances such as negotiation, appraisals, conflict resolution in a way that the process is more productive and less damaging. Open door policy should be the most preferred way of discussion and feedback to empower employees and boost morale.
4. Fostering competition and collaboration
An environment that is collaborative and competitive creates an environment where ideas are exchanged and new ones are on the rise every now and then. Such an environment is able to appreciate an individual’s strength and skills fuelling exceptional performance for individuals, teams, and the organisation in general.
5. buddy system
A buddy system involves pairing new employees with experienced employees for mentorship purposes. This system has proven to give new hires some comfort and a sense of belonging as they learn the operation of the new workplace which accelerates productivity. The system becomes a safe space for employees even as they grow in the organisation. Being part of a workgroup often translates to better business results as research has proved that inclusive workplaces are six times more likely to be innovative and twice as likely to meet or surpass financial goals.
If ready to make your workplace more inclusive and diverse, start looking for the tools that will help in making that possible. Tools such as chat platforms that encourage open communication, real-time polling apps to collect data from employees that management can use to formulate inclusive policies and virtual feedback tools to cater to those who work remotely and introverts can be used. Remember, Inclusion is not a matter of correctness, it is the key to growth
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