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How to make your workplace more inclusive

29 September 2022
How to make your workplace more inclusive

Inclusivity is a hot topic right now. For companies looking to attract and retain top talent, a diverse and inclusive workplace is vital. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives need to go beyond feel-good, box-checking exercises for HR departments; but they have a marked impact on financial and business success. Despite D&I becoming an increasing priority in recent years for HR departments, research has found that 75% of employees believe that more can be done. In this post, we look at how to make your workplace more inclusive.

What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?

Diversity is the physical makeup of your workplace, and inclusion, on the other hand, defines how your company creates an environment and culture that supports and enables all employees to contribute and thrive at work.

What makes a workplace inclusive?

For any workplace to be truly inclusive, it must be part of your workplace culture. The interactions, conversations and day-to-day engagement between employees must all reflect your attitude towards inclusion. Helping people to feel welcomed, immersing them in your workplace and giving them a voice that is not only heard, but respected and valued will help to engage and motivate your workforce. They’ll feel valued, and therefore they’ll be happier at work and therefore more productive.

Management must champion inclusion

As the bridge between your employees and senior management team, managers are critical in promoting inclusivity. Managers must be conscious of existing bias, promote diversity of thought, as well as diversity in terms of backgrounds and ethnicities. Encouraging employees to understand their own unconscious bias can help them to be more aware of the diversity within your workforce and drive a culture of respect, community and self-reflection.

Make inclusion part of your company policy

Although there is no legal requirement to have a documented D&I policy, it is good practice to produce one that demonstrates your business’ commitment to being a diverse and inclusive employer. As employers look to become more inclusive, existing HR and workplace policies may need to be reworked – or abolished entirely.

Creating inclusive workplace policies is a great foundation for becoming truly inclusive but employers must regularly audit, review and evaluate their progress towards inclusivity. Use a range of data sources (qualitative and quantitative), elicit frequent feedback from employees and understand exactly where any improvements could be made. Where do barriers exist? What could you do better?

Remember to monitor the impact of your initiatives, policy changes and use employee feedback to proactively make changes where they are needed.

If you need help promoting a culture of inclusion and diversity in your business, contact one of our experts today.

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