Inclusivity is more than just a popular buzzword; it is a call to action for every workplace to provide equal access to resources and opportunities for all employees. Inclusion is often coupled with diversity, but the two are quite different. While diversity is more about the members of a team, inclusion is about how those unique team members come together and how their talents and strengths are utilized and realized within the workforce.
So, how can your workplace become a more inclusive environment? In this post, we’ll discuss four basic steps you can take to improve your inclusion score and make your workplace a more accepting, supportive place for everyone.
Set Your Intentions
As a leader of your business, you know that positive change within your workplace begins with you. Inclusivity is not about quotas or forced diversity. Instead, it focuses on nourishing the company by hiring a diverse range of capable, present, and prepared workers to fulfill the roles they are hired for.
Ensure Everyone Feels Safe and Protected
There are laws in place that protect workers and employers but ensuring that everyone in the workplace feels safe to speak their mind and go about their tasks is also an element of inclusivity. When employees feel that their rights and beliefs are respected and protected, they are more likely to remain with the company, improving retention rates.
From including a quiet space for meditation or prayer to allowing flexibility with the workplace dress code, there are many ways to extend comfort and acceptance to everyone in the work environment.
Improve Meeting Inclusivity
Whether your workplace is on-site, remote, or hybrid, bringing workers together for meetings is essential. Virtual and hybrid meetings have become the norm, and it is vital to consider inclusion when conducting them.
Team members may be located in different time zones and may be balancing home and schooling, so consider time and location when scheduling meetings. Also, take the time to get to know your workers and include them in meetings in ways that make them comfortable and allow them to shine.
Ensure Everyone Feels Seen and Heard
There is nothing more disheartening than feeling ignored or overlooked in the workplace. When you produce an environment where people feel comfortable speaking up and expressing themselves, set an example for your employees by actively listening. Amplify others who may be more introverted or soft-spoken. Give others the space and time to process and convey their ideas. By working to understand everyone’s style of working, we can be better peers to them and create a more inclusive environment for all.