What is an inclusive workplace?
It is a workplace that everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves and feel safe in doing so. Creating such a workplace should be a priority for every employer not matter if you are in the professions like an accountant or lawyer or a tradesman like a plumber, electrician or graffiti removal company.
Importance of an inclusive workplace
Creating a diverse workforce is a challenge for any company due to cultural and traditional differences.
But it is necessary for a company to thrive as a diverse workforce brings unique perspectives and fresh new ideas.
Research has shown that employees who feel appreciated and included tend to be more innovative as they get actively involved. They also become better team players and tend to help support their fellow team members as they strive for a common goal.
It is important for a company to have an open an all-inclusive workplace if they are going to hire and retain top forming employees.
Creating an inclusive workplace
- Make leaders accountable for developing inclusion and diversity
Management/leaders should be held accountable for making sure their inclusion and diversity goals are met. Over forty percent of companies fail to do this and to increase their inclusion averages companies should recognize those leaders that do and ensure their examples are carried through to the rest of the leaders.
- Educating employees by providing training
Education employees on the importance of an inclusive workplace is a key benefit. Various workshops and team building exercises make employees interact with each other and learn to work together as teams.
- Ensure all programs and processes in the organization embrace inclusion and diversity
A lot of companies policies do not go into all levels of inclusion. For instance, single mothers, a lot of them feel left out especially when a lot of managers have expense accounts, travel is reimbursed. Most companies these days will pay for an Uber to take staff home after a function. But what about a parent? They are excluded, for instance, the staff are invited out for a work rewards dinner. The single parent does not feel like it is such a reward for them as that night ends up costing them anywhere around $60 – $150. They must pay for a sitter, feed the sitter and usually pay for the sitter’s trip home. So, policies should include some compensation for return to work parents.
If your company values diversity it needs to have firm policies in place with effective strategies.