How Can You Make The Workplace More Inclusive?
The number of organisations that are becoming more inclusive has increased significantly in recent years. However, some organisations struggle to make their workplace inclusive. Which makes it difficult for certain communities to succeed. Research from INvolve a UK charity, that indicates LGBTQ+ employees had to tone down their identity. To help them progress at work. Businesses have made progress, but there is always room to improve and create a better workplace culture. Diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), should be a continuous process.
By being a business or employer, you’re at the front of driving change within your business. To help enhance the experience of your workers. You should take active steps to help the change. Employers should provide employers with the knowledge and tools to help drive positive actions and conversations within the workplace. So how do you create a more inclusive workplace? Here are some starting tips to help you.
Become an Ally
Allyship means that you’re not part of a marginalised group, however, you want to support, as well as take action to help the people in that group. For example, you may not be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, but you want to help fight for their equality. Having allies is crucial to the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you’re an employee, manager or boss. You should be an ally to those around you.
Allyship is a key area for employers who are serious about driving inclusion within the workplace. As strong allyship can provide employees with the tools they need to drive change. By becoming an ally in your daily life and the workplace, you can work towards creating a safe space. Additionally, you can provide training programmes to help your employees have more appropriate language and for them to learn about cultural and historic context. To help create an all-inclusive space.
When you become an ally, you also need to ensure that accountability is prioritised. There can be no change without accountability. It is also imperative to model accountability at the top. To make sure it is consistent within the business. When allyship joins with senior management, it becomes a motivation for other employees. Making them empowered to help the change.
Employee resource groups are a great way to collect data to help build a picture of the workplace. This allows you to identify areas for improvement. As well as, include inclusivity incentives. This data can enhance a business’s commitment to providing inclusion. Furthermore, it will help establish a clear benchmark for progress. Once you have this data, you can then put your actions into place, and start to work on necessary solutions.
These resource groups are also a great way to provide LGBTQ+ people with an opportunity to influence DEI policies. To ensure their data and knowledge are acted upon, employee resource groups need a platform.
Inclusive recruitment strategies
Inclusive recruitment means that you engage, interview and hire individuals across a diverse range of backgrounds. Making sure you cover gender, race, age, class and religion. As inclusive workplaces have more benefits. Such as more talent or creativity. As well as increasing a company’s chance to succeed and grow. It can also lead to larger hiring pools. This can be a really important area for a business. As Gen Z is entering the workplace. 25% of Gen Z candidates would decline a job offer if the recruiter failed to use their correct pronouns.
Let employees have a voice
Transparency is crucial when it comes to building an inclusive working environment. This in turn means that you need to be open about employee feedback. Along the same lines as resource groups, letting your employees have a voice is important. As it allows them to express their concerns or ideas without fear of judgement. When employees feel they can express their thoughts, it can have a positive impact on the workplace. Their ideas could be a new way of doing something. Fresh and new ideas can improve the company and its work processes, or they may resolve issues.
When employees have a voice and are listened to, they feel valued. When they feel valued, the productivity of the work environment skyrockets. As they feel more motivated to be better and learn more. You can conduct one on one meetings, interviews, and anonymous feedback surveys to help collect the feedback. So you can have clear and honest conversations.
Make sure you encourage the opinions of shy or introverted employees so that there are varying opinions. Make sure each person gets credit for their ideas and work.
Have access to learning opportunities
Another way you can become more inclusive is to provide learning and development opportunities. Having training is about professional and personal development and not just to cater for the needs of the business. There are also activities to support employees in gaining new skills. Any learning and development programmes should be accessible to all employees. Regardless of their age, sex, position or expertise. Whether this is training, support from managers, diversity groups or even technology. Your employees need to have these resources, as it’s important for everyone to drive change within the company.
Creating an inclusive working environment takes time and isn’t one that’s over just because you’ve initially done it. It’s a long ongoing process. One size may not fit all. So you need to think about what would be beneficial to you as a business and how you can foster inclusion. Investing in inclusivity can make your company a desirable place to work, and also improve your business’s productivity and profits.