Diversity is the spice of life, but a staff comprised of a wide variety of people doesn’t mean much if your workplace doesn’t also practice inclusivity. Having an inclusive company is a great way to influence good work, a healthy lifestyle, and workplace cohesiveness. So, what is inclusivity, what does it look like in the workplace, and how can your company take steps to achieve it?
Understanding Workplace Inclusivity
Workplace “inclusivity” is different from workplace “diversity”. Workplace inclusivity means being a company that truly cares about the diversity within it. It means being a company that strives to be conscious of and inclusive to everyone in regards to interactions, meetings, events, work and life. Workplace inclusivity is a necessity after workplace diversity has already been established. After a company has hired employees from different backgrounds and walks of life, it’s important to ensure that the inclusivity of each and every one of them is established. That means being inclusive in team meetings, office get-togethers, and even one-on-one interactions. You can meet the standards of diversity in the workplace by hiring people of all different backgrounds, but until you ensure that each person is valued equally, you are not being fully inclusive. Workplace inclusivity is the act of valuing the differences of all employees within a company and actively making efforts to support equality, diminish segregation, and avoid discrimination amongst the entirety of a workforce.
Put Workplace Inclusivity as Priority
Make a commitment to improving inclusivity by making public statements to your employees. By addressing that improvements are planned to be made for the inclusivity of your workplace, your business will be held accountable by its employees. Posting fliers about commitment to workplace inclusivity or sending out informational emails to staff will support this commitment.
Make Sure Leaders Are Educated and Emotionally Intelligent
Educating leaders within the workplace about inclusivity is a very important task that all businesses looking to make their company more inclusive should do. If employees see their leaders doing it, they may follow in their footsteps.
Having a team be emotionally intelligent helps harbor a more inclusive environment and will allow businesses to attract more employees.
Schedule Meetings About Inclusivity and Rotate Who Runs Them
Scheduling meetings about inclusivity is important for businesses that are trying to become more inclusive. Rotating who runs these meetings will influence more employees to attend and learn during these meetings.
Scheduling Meetings about diversity and encouraging all employees to participate furthers your businesses’ commitment to being more inclusive and holds your business more accountable to meet these expectations.
Make Times to Talk About Non-Work-Related Issues
Create specific times during the week for employees to meet with coworkers to discuss issues that they are experiencing outside of the workplace that relates to inclusivity. It’s generally nice to know that you are not the only one experiencing problems in life, which makes meetings such as these beneficial to most employees.
Hold Office Functions at Easily Accessible Times and Locations
Holding office functions at times and locations that work for all employees creates an environment of richer inclusivity in the workplace. For example, holding an office gathering directly after work may not work for employees with family obligations.
A solution to this could be having an optional office gathering on the weekend. For employees who commute from different areas, holding an office function in a general location such as a sporting event or music venue may prove to be more inclusive.
These are just a number of ways to ensure that a workplace is more inclusive, and if put into practice, can truly improve a workplace as a whole.
Do you need help making a strategy for workplace inclusivity at your business? RTR Consulting has more than 20 years devoted to developing effective and efficient Human Resources policies, procedures, and best practices for small to medium-sized businesses. Contact us today to learn more!