The majority of contemporary workplaces have implemented equality policies to guarantee that every employee has equal access to resources and opportunities without discrimination. But how can you go beyond just clicking a “diversity” box to advance equality? Making every employee feel appreciated and welcomed at work, despite individual differences, is referred to as inclusion.
By acknowledging, welcoming, and accepting various approaches, styles, perspectives, and experiences regardless of each person’s background, an inclusive workplace fosters a culture in which people feel included. Addressing racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, picking the best mental health benefits, improving office accessibility, addressing leadership styles, and more are all practical ways to make your workplace more inclusive. The following advice can help you make your workplace more diverse.
Why is Inclusion so Crucial in the Workplace?
Higher employee morale, engagement, productivity, and creativity have all been seen in workplaces with inclusive cultures. Businesses that deliberately lessen the effects of oppression and provide workers with physical, mental, and emotional assistance reap the benefits. According to studies, diverse teams make better decisions and more varied businesses generate more income.
Workplace innovation is a result of inclusion. According to Deloitte study, companies that accept and value people with a broad range of life experiences encourage creative thinking. Employees may collaborate to come up with fresh ideas, eventually feeling more empowered at work.
How to Create an Inclusive Workplace
- Connect with your workforce. Modern Health’s Modern Belonging Playbook will assist you in setting up an environment where workers feel free to express their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgement. Since it influences whether people or organisations take action to create and preserve an inclusive culture, developing a feeling of empathy and connection is essential for moving toward inclusion.
2. Encourage leaders to encourage inclusion – When developing an inclusive workplace culture, have an open mind and be ready to try new approaches. According to Deloitte research, when top executives or managers set a positive example for inclusiveness, it may boost workers’ emotions of fairness, respect, worth, and belonging overall by 70%. Establishing a feeling of integrity may be greatly aided by a genuine commitment to bravery and curiosity about diversity and inclusion.
3. Ensure that the diversity of your workforce is embraced and appreciated. By making sure that employee diversity are appreciated, you may add some pleasure to your emphasis on inclusion. Beyond ticking a “diversity” box, the secret to fostering a sense of inclusion is to embrace the real lived experience of your staff. Ask workers what holidays are most meaningful to them, provide culturally significant foods or meals, create a location in the office for prayer or meditation, and promote inclusive dress and hairstyles in the workplace.
4. Make sure your location of employment is accessible. It’s crucial to think about both the physical and emotional aspects of your environment while attempting to increase diversity at work. Since 36% of all claims of discrimination in 2020 were connected to disability discrimination, it is necessary to prioritise accessibility improvements even when physical accessibility in the workplace has improved for workers with impairments. Make sure your area has accessible bathrooms, water access, and ramps, as well as doorways that are at least 36 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs. Ensure that there is sturdy sitting without armrests for people of various sizes. Make sure your applications are accessible to persons with all disabilities while developing your recruitment methods, and make sure to provide any reasonable modifications that eligible candidates may need to be competitive for the position. Attending career fairs with an inclusive theme is another option.
5. reevaluate meeting inclusivity – Personal attitudes, unwritten cultural norms, and institutional rules are all actionable ways to improve inclusivity. Leaders have a great chance to address these issues and increase inclusivity at meetings. Make sure that accessibility is the main emphasis of all meetings, and communicate a clear agenda and anticipated participation of staff members prior to events so that staff members with anxiety or ongoing health issues may create a self-care plan so they can participate fully in the meeting. Have a set procedure for managing microaggressions from staff or leadership, and be cognizant of indirect racism.
6. Create employee resource groups. Employee resource groups (ERGs) are “voluntary, employee-led organisations composed of people who come together based on shared interests, backgrounds, or demographic variables such as gender, colour, or ethnicity.” These organisations provide workers a secure setting where they may interact, encourage one another, and discuss concerns relating to oppression or the stigma they experience. These resource groups aid in establishing a welcoming environment for seasoned and inexperienced workers from historically underrepresented groups to interact and form communities. Additionally, leadership should provide chances for the incorporation of the suggestions and ideas made in ERGs into development and policy. Modern Health supports the value of community. For this reason, we provide Circles, which are guided by therapists and coaches who have a particular area of expertise. The purpose of circles is to provide an environment where staff members may communicate honestly and form bonds with others who can relate to their particular experiences. We strongly advise getting in touch with our staff if you have any questions regarding Circles. Every step of the journey, we are here to help you.
7. Speak up in favour of inclusivity. The best method to guarantee that workers are aware of your firm’s position on diversity, equality, and inclusion is to formally state your commitment to these principles in a corporate policy. “Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination rules make it clear that harassment and discrimination will not be allowed,” according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Roles and duties for compliance should be outlined in policies, which should be readily available via intranet sites or through all employee communications. Having open lines of communication with staff members can assist them realise what is and is not acceptable conduct. It will also help demonstrate that these concerns are treated seriously.
8. Pronoun-friendly email signatures are essential. Adding your preferred pronouns to your email signature is a simple approach to have a huge effect. It may mainstream the use of pronouns in signatures and convey a message of allyship, making it less intimidating for others to do the same. Because of the presumption that someone’s gender is known, pronouns are often omitted from professional encounters, however this may be damaging to people who don’t identify inside the gender binary. You can make the world a more inclusive place by making it commonplace to use pronouns in email signatures.
Reach out to one of our experts right now to arrange a demo if you want to build a more welcoming workplace. Our team can assist you in putting plans for inclusion, equality, and diversity in the workplace into action. You can make the workplace more enjoyable and effective for everyone by addressing these problems.