Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever. New advancements in technology have made it easier for businesses to employ a diverse workforce, both physically and in remote working arrangements. A diverse team may seem more challenging to manage, but it also brings a lot of advantages to the company.
An inclusive workplace means that employees across different backgrounds are accepted and respected. This diversity includes notable differences in tradition, culture, race, gender or sexual orientation, and religion. A workplace that opens its doors to this diverse group of employees reaps the rewards of having a strong company culture, creativity, innovation, and improved employee performance, among many others.
Along that line, here are four insightful tips on how you can build a more inclusive workplace starting this year:
- Foster A Sense Of Belonging In The Workplace
A workplace can’t claim to successfully respect and observe diversity and inclusion if it fails to foster a sense of belongingness. This means that right from the hiring and onboarding process, your employees should already feel like they’re part of a family. Your employees should feel connected with everyone in the organization. In the long run, this sense of belonging may also lead to better employee engagement and the positive exchange of creative ideas, leading to the company’s overall success.
With that said, here are some ways you can foster a better sense of belonging in your workplace:
- Create positive social bonds in your workplace by encouraging team members to work towards shared goals;
- Host regular get-togethers, even if it has to be done virtually for now;
- Create trusting relationships in your workplace through programs like having formal and informal mentorship programs;
- Be intentional about promoting inclusion by involving your current employees in coming up with creative and holistic ways to develop this company culture.
- Integrate Inclusivity Into Your Company’s Core Values
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to update your company’s core values by integrating inclusivity into them. This means that as soon as new employees are hired, they know that yours is a company that values inclusivity. When you integrate inclusivity into your core values, everyone on the team will be on the same page in upholding that standard.
To be more efficient in re-shaping your company’s core values, it pays to get inputs from your current employees as well. By doing so, the upper management will also have a clear understanding of what the rest of the employees think of and feel about working in a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Be Open-Minded
The workplace isn’t the right place for you or anyone on the team to lay your personal aversions to a certain religion or beliefs out in the open. Instead, the workplace is an ideal environment to develop the quality of being open-minded. If there’s anything you absolutely don’t like about others, keep it to yourself. The more open-minded you are about diversity and inclusion, the smoother the process of transition will be in your workplace.
It’s normal to have stereotypes and assumptions. But if there’s any opportunity for people to learn to set these aside, it would be while they’re striving to be compassionate members of a team. By being open-minded about others’ beliefs and practices, everyone in the team may even learn new things and broaden their horizon.
This kind of open-mindedness can help foster unity, employee retention and engagement, and better interaction in the workplace.
- Consider Inclusion As An Ongoing Process And Not A Single Event
It’s not just enough to have one-off training to inform your employees verbally on what inclusion means. You have to make it clear that cultivating inclusion will be an ongoing process in your company. This way, your employees will remain aware that as long as they stay in your company, they’re bound by your mandate to practice inclusivity.
After all, promoting inclusivity involves changing one’s mindset, perspective, and behavior. It’s not something that happens overnight. Instead, inclusion is an ongoing series of improvements and practices in your business to ensure that this positive attribute will continue to be observed in years to come.
As technology continues to connect people, promoting inclusivity should be one of your priorities. With the tips above, you can now start implementing programs and practices to make your workplace more inclusive. This effort must begin with the upper management, the team leaders, and even the business owners. Once inclusivity becomes a part of your business’s core values, it’ll be easier for your team to integrate it into your company culture.