Each employee functions as a gear for the company to keep running. However, viewing them solely like any other tool will only backfire on your business, considering they’re still people. Therefore, treating them as anything less is a surefire way to make them feel unwelcome. Once that happens, their productivity will drop until your workforce eventually leaves one by one.
In modern workplace culture, improvement after improvement must be done for everyone’s work experience to stay optimized. Anything less, and work performance might suffer, and the employment rate is bound to drop because of your organization’s poor reputation. Therefore, establishing an inclusive workplace culture is your best course of action.
‘Openness’ is the best word to describe an inclusive workplace culture. Being open welcomes employees from all sorts of backgrounds. However, this principle doesn’t mean everyone disregards each other’s differences out of fairness. Rather, inclusion indicates that all employees are supposed to feel accepted when everyone treats their differences with respect.
Creating inclusivity in the workplace might be challenging because everyone has different views. But here are some ways to gradually build it up:
1. Identify Shortcomings
Acknowledging that there’s a problem in the first place is a great stepping stone toward creating inclusion. Considering everyone has a different upbringing, it’s only natural for there to be diverse opinions about everything. However, only limiting yourself to what you’ve grown up with is restricting. With how vast the world is, it’s unsurprising that it’s rich with different cultures and worldviews. Opening their minds to that fact will enable your workforce to broaden their understanding.
2. Offer Bias And Diversity Training
Unlearning toxic views for there to be room for inclusivity would be a trying endeavor. Because as helpful as it is to learn a different language like Spanish from a Spanish Employee Handbook Translation, some might not be able to pick it up quickly. Having a mentor who can help would serve as an excellent role model. Not only that but doing it with the company of fellow employees could encourage everyone to keep going.
As for new hires, working in a different workplace is often a stressful experience. Between learning new policies and handling the bulk of their assigned tasks, they’re bound to get overwhelmed by everything. Use this opportunity to remind them that they have a trained mentor who can guide them while they’re still learning. Under someone’s diligent guidance, they’ll be able to confidently fill out their roles and even welcome future hires the same way they were welcomed when they used to be in their place early on.
3. Provide A Safe Space
Establishments everywhere already have ‘safe spaces’ included all over the place. However, they often go unnoticed because you’re probably not part of the targeted groups. Some examples of ‘safe spaces’ are lactation rooms, prayer spaces, and gender-neutral bathrooms.
Including different sections in the workplace where everyone’s needs are met enhances their comfort level, even though they’re far from home. But aside from that, ‘safe spaces’ are also not limited to the floor plan. Instead of racking your brains for renovation plans, another way to provide a ‘safe space’ is to respect the workforce’s comfort zone.
With many in the workforce now working from home, perhaps giving some extra funds for home office setup or home improvement can also help feel employees cared for.
For example, urging an introverted employee to start a meeting or ‘break the ice’ might be perceived as encouragement for some. But this technique might not be applicable for all introverts when all it does is force them into something they’re not. Because they’re pressured into a role they don’t want, they likely won’t perform properly, considering their mental health often suffers from fatigue and stress.
4. Establish Enforcers
Learning is a path full of trials and errors. It’s not easy to stick to that path, and some might even start slipping into old principles unknowingly. Assign a department that focuses on enforcing inclusion. Ensure that it consists of members at all levels of the organization, even within the C-suite.
That way, there won’t be any bias when holding someone accountable. After all, disregarding the violator because of their position would signify that the principle of ‘inclusivity’ that the workplace is striving for is meaningless hot air. If you want to create an inclusive workplace, everyone must cooperate toward that goal, and having a department handle anything against it can be a great help.
5. Encourage Feedback
As mentioned, learning is a constant work in progress. Even if your intentions are pure, you’re bound to make mistakes like any normal person. One of the ways to set your path straight and reach your goal better is by listening to what your workforce has to say about it. After all, you wanted to implement inclusivity with them in mind.
Provide a platform that’s accessible to everyone where they can bring up any comments they might have about your movements. Even that alone would encourage them to be more open since they can see that the management is willing to listen. Once they see their ideas being brought to life, your workplace is already on its way to reaching your goal.
Creating inclusivity requires a lot of time, dedication, and patience. Since it goes down to personal levels, investing resources in this goal wouldn’t yield results with a snap of your fingers. But in the end, your workforce will benefit from your initiative. Keep developing your plans, and your business will benefit in the long run.