The human race is richly diverse and every employer should ensure that all members of staff feel included, valued, and looked after. Inclusivity in the workplace is good for business, as well as wider society. It means that you benefit from ideas and insights from a range of people with different experiences, staff turnover decreases and the workforce is happier.
Here are 10 ways that you can foster inclusion in the workplace:
- Create an equal opportunities policy that will show staff that the business treats everyone fairly, explains discrimination within the law, outlines inclusive behaviours that are expected from everybody, and also sets out a process whereby anyone facing problems knows the procedure for working towards a resolution.
- Train staff members so that everybody understands your equal opportunities policy and knows how they must behave in order to make sure that it is followed.
- Recruitment procedures should be put in place so that they encourage applications from a wide range of candidates with different backgrounds. If you feel that any groups are under-represented in your business, you can explain clearly that you welcome applications from them. Use language and images that show your commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Interview panels should be diverse so that minority groups feel comfortable and potential employees see that they are entering an inclusive workforce.
- Dress code policies are fine if you are trying to encourage your workers to embody your brand, but guidelines should never make anyone feel uncomfortable or singled out. Your dress code policy should be gender-neutral and account for diversity in the workplace, so for example, it shouldn’t discriminate against anybody who wears religion-specific clothes or has to dress a certain way for health or cultural reasons. To find out if your dress code policy is inclusive, make sure that employees understand it and are able to provide feedback.
- A diverse workforce is one of the best examples of inclusion in the workplace. Show that you celebrate and value diversity and inclusion by hiring people from different cultural backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, religious backgrounds, etc. A diverse workforce creates an inclusive atmosphere where everybody respects their colleagues’ backgrounds.
- Use inclusive language that is respectful and doesn’t exclude anyone. Language is constantly evolving and using inclusive language will take research, commitment, and the willingness to shift mindset. When using inclusive language you purposefully choose words and phrases that won’t offend those who have been historically marginalised.
- Staff on leave should have the same access to training and/or job opportunities, etc. This includes anyone who is off work due to pregnancy, maternity or paternity leave, adoption leave, and caring for children.
- Introduce flexible working where possible so that you don’t discriminate against any workers. For example, somebody who has taken time out to have a baby might return and ask for reduced hours due to childcare issues.
- Communicate with your workforce to let them know that they are valued. It is a good idea to hold open meetings with senior managers so that employees can ask questions.
If you are seeking office space contact us at One Avenue Group.
Alice has over 10 years experience within the HR sector, understanding
changing demands of employees and creating strategies to attract and retain
employees, creating a productive and positive working environment.