How To Make Your Workplace More Inclusive

how to make workplace more inclusive worker inclusivity

You may have heard the quote, “Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.” 

While we’d all like to think our workplace facilities diversity, inclusion, and belonging, most companies are still working toward this goal. Creating an inclusive workplace comes down to company culture, respecting and appreciating peers, and listening to the feedback of the individuals in your community where needed. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss five ways to make your workplace more inclusive. Keep reading to learn more about workplace inclusiveness. 

1. Use Your Leaders To Set An Example 

Your top leadership – think a level or two below your CEO – are some of the most important individuals when creating an inclusive workplace. Depending on the size of your workplace, you should consider creating a diversity and inclusion council that can supervise your efforts and moderate any issues. These individuals should be highly passionate and committed to the cause. 

Here are some of the tasks that the diversity and inclusion council will have: 

• Setting goals about hiring, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce 
• Addressing employee engagement issues among underrepresented populations 
• Meeting quarterly (or more often if needed) to review organizational feedback and troubleshoot challenges 
• Communicating the work they’re doing to their senior peers and C-suite employees 

2. Educate Your Employees 

Everyone, from your leaders to your employees, needs to understand the value of diversity and inclusion. Take the steps to make this happen by setting up online diversity training to help facilitate learning about diversity and inclusion. Make this a requirement at least once or twice a year, and then hold your leaders accountable for results. How are they restructuring leaders according to what they’ve learned? How are they reallocating resources to celebrate employee differences? How are they encouraging language that demonstrates mindfulness for diversity and inclusion? Have your inclusion council ask all of these questions and review progress when they meet. 

3. Listen To Your Employees 

Your employees are your greatest source of information. As you continue to grow in your diversity and inclusion policies, you’ll need to find effective feedback mechanisms for your workplace. Do you hold open office hours for employees to come to see you? Do you have a suggestion box that allows your employees to make anonymous suggestions or point out obstacles they’ve faced related to diversity and inclusion? 

Do you take time in every meeting to note important contributions from various employees that week? Finding ways to listen to your employees and make them employees feel heard is a crucial part of this process. 

4. Change Your Meeting Style 

Often, meetings reflect the preferred style of whoever is leading the meeting. Yet, if we’re keeping inclusion in mind, you have to realize that other people may not prefer exactly how you are doing it. For instance, if your office meets in person, but you have five remote workers who work in a different time zone, are you conscious about how you incorporate them? Or do you schedule a meeting and invite them as an after- thought? 

Changing your meeting style to better accommodate everyone in (or out of) the room is part of the diversity and inclusion process. 

5. Celebrate Your Employees 

This all comes back to our quote. You can put a bunch of people in a room and say that you’re “diverse” or “inclusive,” but unless you allow those individuals to have a voice and actually hear them talk, you are not truly incorporating diversity or inclusion

Get creative with how you celebrate your employees. Perhaps you choose to spotlight a different employee each week/month in an email newsletter, create meditation and prayer rooms for those of different faiths, or make schedules flexible for those with families. Differences in the workplace make you stronger

Final Thoughts On Workplace Inclusiveness

These five tips can help you begin to improve and diversify your workplace. Remember, becoming more diverse and inclusive is a process that will take time, and you’ll have to consistently work at it. It may not be easy, but it is worth it because it’ll benefit your organization’s culture and employee experience.

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