Unfortunately, recent statistics show that many companies are still lacking when it comes to embracing inclusion and diversity in the workplace. In too many organisations there are still disparities in equality, with more white men taking the top roles than any other demographic.
Despite this, more firms are starting to recognise the importance of a diverse workforce and the many benefits that it can bring. It is now starting to be acknowledged that companies which attract workers from across all demographics bring exciting new perspectives and viewpoints to their organisation, helping to improve everything from customer service to product development. Since the benefits of workplace inclusion include more innovation, attraction of better talent, higher performance when compared with competitors, improved decision making and higher revenue, it couldn’t be more important to find ways of fostering a positive workplace environment that is welcoming to people of all ethnicities.
While many workplaces believe they have already embraced diversity, inclusion is often lagging behind. A company may hire staff from across the spectrum, but those employees may not necessarily feel truly a part of the organisation. If workers feel as if they have to make compromises and hide part of themselves when at work, this takes its toll on engagement, motivation, and retention.
So, how can diversity and inclusion be improved? Here are a few tips.
Leading From The Top With A Diverse And Inclusive Executive Team
If everyone leading an organisation is white, middle-aged and male, this doesn’t set up the right environment for inclusivity. The executive team’s makeup sets the tone for the remainder of the workforce and speaks volumes about the company culture. Having diversity in top management roles is essential, with equal representation between women and men, and people from different cultural backgrounds.
Acknowledging And Honouring Different Cultural And Religious Practices
Companies should adopt a policy of honouring and acknowledging different religious and cultural practices, for example by holding “holiday parties” instead of Christmas celebrations, and recognising the need for employees of different faiths to take days off to accommodate their religious obligations.
Ensuring Pay Equality Across The Board
Workforce inclusion is built around the company’s transparency when it comes to pay policies. Employees should be able to freely express their opinions and feelings and be presented with evidence that the company is taking action to bridge any gaps that exist.
Fostering Inclusive Thinking
Companies must recognise that people from different backgrounds will often have different perspectives on a host of issues. Knowing what all employees think is vital when making company decisions and therefore, getting feedback from all workers across the board is something that should be taken into account so that everyone feels listened to and relevant.
Establishing Non-Discriminatory Policies
Unfortunately, in many companies the process of hiring and promotion remains biased and unfair with unconscious (or even conscious) ageism, racism and sexism coming to the fore. Non-discriminatory policies should be put in place such as rewriting job descriptions to be gender neutral, creating a system of blind resume reviews so no demographic characteristics can be seen, and the setting of organisation-wide diversity goals to track progress.
Hosting Workshops And Initiatives To Boost Diversity And Inclusion At Work
Companies should be investing in workshops and other workplace initiatives designed specifically to boost inclusion and diversity. Events such as the I Am Remarkable workshop have been created to help those from underrepresented groups to become more empowered, to celebrate their workplace achievements and to become more confident when it comes to self-promotion
By adopting these strategies, companies of all types and sizes can become more inclusive, more diverse and, thus, more profitable and successful overall.