Practices to Workplace More Inclusive. An open and inclusive culture can be a crucial differentiator to attract the best and most diverse talent. According to a report in Catalyst, employees showed a natural willingness to innovate when they felt included. In addition, employees became better team players and exceeded expectations in terms of performance.
The words ‘diversity and inclusion’ are used in combination, so often that we miss the unique meaning of each term. Inclusion is quite different from diversity. Hiring a diverse set of employees will not produce tangible results unless they feel welcome and that they belong.
It can be challenging to measure inclusion using standard metrics.
An Inclusive Culture Empowers a Diverse Workforce
Disengagement and feeling undervalued are one of the biggest reasons for employee turnover. Valuable employees often quit because they do not feel like a part of your team. Even the most well-intentioned leaders may flounder when it comes to creating an inclusive culture.
While diverse workforces bring different experiences and perspectives to the table, an inclusive culture helps employees realize their talents.
Every employee needs to work towards supporting inclusion in the organization.
Inclusive leadership plays a key role at this stage.
Inclusive leaders can introduce positive changes and ensure buy-in from all stakeholders. How can leaders help the company develop an inclusive culture? Here’s a closer look at five best practices that promote inclusion.
1. Make Leaders accountable for achieving diversity and inclusion objectives
- Listening is more important than talking.
- Analyze the ‘why’ behind the diversity and inclusion goal. It’s not enough to say that diversity is ‘good’ for the company. Leaders need to encourage teams to think about their intentions for promoting an inclusive culture.
- D & I goals should not only be decided upon by senior leadership. D & I goals should take into consideration the views of your employees, stakeholders, and customers.
- Identify behaviors that are associated with feelings of respect, appreciation, and civility. The feedback will help highlight things you need to prioritize. This way, you get a clear definition of inclusion straight from your team.
2. Provide Relevant Training to Your Employees
Diversity and inclusion courses can help your workforce create an inclusive culture. Ongoing training and development also enable you to identify and acknowledge unconscious bias in your thinking and behavior.
3. Learn to Be an Ally
Regardless of your role, you can be an ally for your team. The following three tips help you create a more inclusive environment:
- Practice active listening and do not interrupt when someone is speaking.
- Pay attention to under-represented groups in your organization and ensure that they get access to equal opportunities.
- Call out inappropriate behaviors without creating resentment.
4. Build a Transparent Culture
It’s tough to have a difficult conversation in the workplace. When you create an honest culture where feedback is valued, you can expect open communication from your employees. Employees should feel comfortable to voice their thoughts and grievances.
5. Evaluate the Executive Team
Diversity and inclusion should begin with top management. Is your executive team inclusive? Work towards increasing diversity amongst the senior executives.
Daily interactions are often the most telling indicators of inclusivity or the lack of it. Leaders need to demonstrate humility, accountability and empowerment to foster inclusion in the workplace.