Steps to Build an Inclusive Workplace

on March 19 | in Business | by | with No Comments

Diversity and inclusion aren’t simply buzzwords – they represent key factors in building and maintaining a workplace that’s welcoming, safe, and productive for everyone. A diverse and inclusive team includes members of different genders, cultures, ethnicity, religions, abilities, etc.

One of the biggest benefits of having an inclusive workplace is that people from different backgrounds are able to bring diverse opinions, experiences, and problem-solving techniques to the table. In fact, a report published by Deloitte reveals that inclusive workplaces are 6 times more likely to be innovative and have 2.3 times the cash flow per employee as compared to non-inclusive workplaces over a three-year period.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss how you can build an inclusive workplace and reap all the amazing benefits it offers.

Step #1 – Challenge the Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias refers to a predisposition to view a situation in a particular way. One common unconscious bias that exists in the workplace is the classic gender role association: Male = Work and Female = Home. However, unconscious bias may be in terms of race as well.

Being aware of our unconscious biases shows that even if a comprehensive strategy exists for workplace inclusion, we might still be predisposed to view things in a certain manner. To remove the unconscious bias, you can use recruiting apps such as a Blendoor that remove applicant information such as age and gender.

Step #2 – Adopt Inclusive Language

A simple example of non-inclusive language is greetings such as “hey guys” as it’s male-centric. Instead, you should incorporate inclusive greetings such as “hey folks” or “hi team.” Overall, you need to ensure that you use inclusive language in all professional communications.

Using inclusive language at work makes everyone feel respected and valued, which allows team members in your organization to bring the best version of themselves to work.

Step #3 – Expand Your Company’s Holiday Calendar

Little things go a long way – and for people belonging to minority groups, even small instances of representation can make a world of difference. So, in addition to secular and Christian holidays such as New Year’s and Christmas, make sure to include the holidays that represent the religious values of your company at large.

For Jewish employees, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are regarded as the major holy holidays. Whereas for Muslims, it’s Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, and for Hindus, it’s Holi, Diwali, and Navrati. If it’s not possible to make these company-wide holidays, you can still mark them on the calendar to create awareness and add a sense of belongingness for practitioners.

Step #4 – Regularly Collect Inclusion Feedback

Try to have regular feedback events or town-hall type meetings to see if your efforts for creating an inclusive workplace are working or not. You can even hold discussions with community mentors and see that they get a chance to raise issues related to inclusivity.

Last Few Words

While these are just some of the ways in which you can build an inclusive workplace, there are several other things you can do as well such as appreciate and reward everyone’s performance, celebrate cultural events, etc.

Remember, an inclusive workforce doesn’t just look good on brochures, it’s important for your company’s bottom-line as well!

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