Diversity and inclusion in the workplace refers to the set of strategies, policies, and missions adopted by a company to create and foster an inclusive workplace that attracts talented individuals of different cultural backgrounds.
In addition to being a competitive advantage, companies with D&I policies and practices are more creative and supportive of different perspectives, thus attracting top talent in any field.
The Best Way to Improve Diversity and Inclusion at Work
A diverse and inclusive workplace is a critical part of a company’s growth and development.
So, your company’s HR and office administration must take tangible steps to create a workplace that is committed to diversity and inclusion.
Educate People In Leadership Positions
You have a responsibility as an HR practitioner to introduce and define D&I policies for your company. However, it’s always questionable whether company leaders consider these diversity and inclusion efforts essential to the company.
Thus, it is essential to hold educational sessions and meetings at the workplace where these concepts are explained and discussed thoroughly. For managers and executives to deal with a diverse workforce, they need to internalize an inclusive attitude. For them to lead by example, they need to be held accountable for their words, decisions, and behaviors.
Additionally, leaders should be aware of how different leadership styles contribute to inclusion in the workplace. For instance, leaders can inspire and support employees to re-evaluate their judgments and prejudices towards coworkers with transformational leadership. Transactional leadership can also create an equitable work environment. It emphasizes fixed operating methods and outcomes. As long as employees produce results, they are rewarded regardless of their backgrounds.
By training your managers and leaders in inclusive policies, you can ensure that your lower-level employees feel included when they interact with each other and their seniors.
Set Up A Council
Establishing a council of committed members committed to inclusiveness can be an excellent first step in the process.
As many people as possible should be represented on the council. It should ideally include members of different genders, age groups, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, religions, and even geographical locations. There will only be voices, perspectives, and opinions from all walks of life then.
Focus on Hiring Diversely
Hiring and recruiting are the first steps toward diversity.
While you are recruiting for your company, it is vital to reach out to underrepresented groups. It is a conscious decision to promote diversity and inclusion, and not something that happens by accident.
You welcome a pool of untapped talent and perspective into your company culture when you hire more women, people of color, differently-abled individuals, etc.
According to McKinsey, companies with the most gender diversity are 21% more likely to achieve above-average profitability.
Implementing diversity hiring in your organization can create a bigger and better talent pool, encourage different perspectives, and enhance collaboration.
Replace Culture Fit with Culture Add
A Culture Fit approach focuses on familiarity. It encourages the use of what is already working. Alternatively, a Culture Add approach focuses on bringing in new voices and talents that will positively influence the company’s culture.
Diversity is limited or somewhat lacking in the Culture Fit approach. This makes it difficult for a company to hire new talent.
By using the Culture Add mindset, employers and employees can address their own unintentional and unconscious biases that come into play when making decisions.
Connect and Communicate
Diversity does not guarantee inclusion, as we already mentioned.
You might not be able to achieve inclusivity even if you have a highly diverse team on hand. A company culture that is inclusive relies on constant communication and connection.
Employees at all levels should feel included in the process. Empathize with them, listen to what they have to say, and learn where their ideas come from.
The importance of constant communication has grown in today’s digital workspaces. Be available to your employees, especially those who work remotely. Remote working culture’s smooth functioning depends on the practice and incorporation of diversity and inclusion values through constant communication.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
All employees must receive diversity and inclusion training at their workplace.
These activities will educate both employers and employees on how to work with people from different religious, geographical, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Diversity and Inclusion Training will increase employee awareness. Staff will learn specific skills that will enable them to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
Encourage and Enable Creativity and Innovation
Creativity and innovation are two of the most significant benefits of a diverse workforce.
Employers should encourage employees to contribute their most creative and innovative ideas. As a result, employees will feel valued and appreciated, and new opportunities for growth and success will arise.
Keep an eye on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
In order to have effective D&I initiatives in place, leaders need to check on these initiatives periodically.
Measuring employee productivity, employee morale, and employee engagement are good indicators of an organization’s D&I strategy’s effectiveness. These metrics should clearly show how accepted, appreciated, and welcome employees feel in their organizations.