A workplace that embraces diversity illustrates strength and reaps the benefits of better employee participation. Inclusivity helps companies to make the most out of the ideas that all employees have, putting them in a better position when it comes to creativity, innovation and on the job performance amongst many others. In this article, we shall be discussing ways how to create and sustain an inclusive workplace environment where people thrive irrespective of sex, race, age, religious background, sexual orientation and physical ability.
Senior management backing
Leaders should set the example and an inclusive workplace has to be on top of their agenda. If senior management does not give inclusivity its due importance, this will create several challenges. If on the other hand, inclusivity is appreciated and practised at the top, this will set the right tone for the rest of the organisation.
Inclusion as part of the core values
Core values need to be revisited from time to time, especially in the context of management changes. If the existing core values do not refer to inclusivity, it would be ideal to have these updated.
If inclusivity is to be practised across all fora, the language adopted needs to follow accordingly. Certain language which isolates and marginalises groups of people should be avoided and disciplinary action must apply when it is used.
One option worth considering is setting up specific inclusivity committees. The people forming part of such committees need to be passionate about inclusivity and come up with initiatives to let it thrive. The committee itself should ideally include a diverse group of team members so as to ensure that the right message of inclusivity is communicated.
Raise awareness about different holidays
Although it might not be financially feasible to include different holidays pertaining to the various religions within a calendar year, it would make sense to have these acknowledged. Doing so will make minority group employees feel more appreciated by the inclusive approach.
Events that promote inclusivity
Company events aimed at promoting inclusivity can bring people together whilst celebrating different cultures and customs. Such events may include food of different countries and cultures, whilst screen documentaries are played. This is one way of keeping employees engaged whilst learning more about different cultures and countries, building new relationships and sustaining a more inclusive working environment.
What are your views about inclusivity at the workplace? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.