This is easier said than done. Although it is important for small businesses and startups, many find this difficult.
This is not an isolated situation.
Promoting inclusion and diversity at work doesn’t require rocket science. All it requires is a bit of information, choice, and action.
This is what to expect if you guess correctly:
- Cash flow increased by 2.3x for each employee (, Deloitte).
- Revenue increase of 19%. ( Boston Consulting Group.
- Increase team performance by 30% using Gartner (
- 60% improvement in decision-making (Cloverpop)
- According to the Harvard Business Review, there’s a greater than 70% chance that you can capture new markets.
Doesn’t that sound good? And this is in addition to other factors which are more challenging to measure, like helping others, spreading love, and making everybody feel heard.
Are you looking to change your company and improve the world at the same time? Learn how you can promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace by the year 2022. Get some ideas on what you need to do to bring about the necessary changes.
Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
1. Don’t Guess–Measure
It’s not enough to look at a group to determine if they are diverse and inclusive. Diversity and inclusion can be measured by more than a simple glance.
You can use anonymous surveys to learn how employees feel about diversity, inclusion, and the company culture. Re-run the survey and see if you are making progress. Set goals for where you want to be after 12 months.
You can use customer research to help determine the hiring criteria. If your clients are from certain groups, it’s crucial to hire those who have worked with them before.
Measurement is the key to success.
Establish check-in times and goals to ensure the initiative is a top priority. This will also stop the initiative from being ignored if the results aren’t good.
Diversity and inclusion should be an enterprise-wide initiative. All of your executives, managers, recruiters, and hiring managers need to get involved.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t achieve your goal. Creating an action plan, setting a clear goal, and committing to it are the first steps. Inclusion and diversity is an ongoing process.
2. Include Inclusivity in Your Corporate Values
Your values are a reflection of the culture and behavior you have in your company. Inclusion and diversity are not often included and are grouped under “other”.
If you’re looking to make your values part of the company culture, include inclusivity in your core values. You can do this by repeating your core values in all-hands, team meetings, at events, and on the website.
Ask your employees what they want your values to be. You can ask your employees to help you update the company values. What does inclusion look like in your organization?
3. Choose Your words more carefully
This includes how you speak in meetings, hallways, and at company events. It’s important to be inclusive in your meetings, in the hallways, and during company events.
By using terms that are not inclusive, you could hurt the women members of your team.
Use “partner” instead of “husband”, “wife”, or “wife”. “
You may be using offensive terms to minorities and groups. For example, some industries use words such as whitelist and blacklist.
Be conscious of not making the same mistake again.
4. Create Safe Places for All
According to estimates, the average worker will work at least 90 000 hours in their lifetime. There is a debate about whether or not we should spend so much time at the office. What this means is that workers should feel comfortable and safe where they spend most of their time.
These are some suggestions:
- The ramps can be used by anyone, not only wheelchair users. Some employees may invite their family and friends with disabilities to events.
- Give working moms (or those that aspire to become mothers) their very own, private space at your workplace. The room does not have to be extravagant or dark, but it should include comfortable chairs, a small refrigerator, a sink, and a locking door.
- Gender-Neutral toilets are important because not all workers identify themselves as male or female. Installing gender-neutral, single-person restrooms is a simple way to provide a place for employees to feel safe.
- Quiet spaces – Some people prefer working in quiet areas. They aren’t necessarily introverts.
- Remote Employees: Employees are bombarded by Slack and email messages, along with Zoom meetings, text messages, and other types of communication. Block out time in your calendar to be “off-grid” and ignore the messages. Respect the time.
- Some religions have prayer rooms that are open all the time, and not just on weekends. Not only is it easier for those who practice these faiths, but you also show them how much you care.
It’s also common for businesses to name conference rooms, floors, and workplaces. Be bold, and include names representing a range of cultures, genders, and ethnicities.
5. Hire With Intent
Your current employees aren’t the only ones who influence diversity and inclusion within your company. The next employee can also influence it.
When hiring, resist the urge to choose someone exactly like you. Although this makes it easier to get along with others and is less uncomfortable, it’s not necessary to have more of your kind. A variety of perspectives, skills, and personalities are needed.
Think about what your team might be lacking. If you are a predominantly male team, it would make sense to hire more women. Hire people from different ethnicities or races if the majority of your team members are white.
Being politically correct is not the goal. The main objective of making your team happier, safer, and better.
6. More holidays with your company
Consider the importance of the holiday to your employees. For example, some coworkers might not value Thanksgiving, while others may appreciate Juneteenth. Take this into consideration when deciding the dates.
It’s difficult to please everyone, as it is impossible to have a holiday every day. This would mean that no one could work, and eventually, your business will shut down.
Don’t set the dates for holidays in stone. Instead, keep them flexible and based on what your employees want. Consider adding more inclusive holidays to your calendar based on what you and your staff want.
Some employees might want to take a vacation for their anniversary or birthday.
7. Encourage employee interest groups
Our social circle is shrinking, and it’s affecting our workplace. This gives colleagues a chance to socialize and meet in the office and out.
Employees from Twilio created groups for a variety of interests, including motorcycling, foodies, running, LGBTQ+, and more. You can find a group to fit your identity, passions, or hobbies.
You can use your HR department to help understand the groups of people and guide potential candidates or new employees toward the available resources. Knowing that you have similar individuals in your network could make the difference as to whether someone accepts an offer.
8. Organise inclusive events and training
Inclusion is shaped by our cultures, upbringing, and relationships, though not always in the most positive way. This requires repetition and training.
Instruct your staff (and you) on how to be inclusive. Host professional speakers or trainers to lead sessions for your team. Include it in your weekly and monthly professional and personal development.
For example, you could host LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.) events in June. You might also consider hosting Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in November. Or, perhaps, a Black History Month discussion in February. Inclusion and diversity should be part of the business’s culture.
9. Empower your staff to Lead
To ensure that your company is a leader in DEI, you need to train all your staff members.
The best top-down message is if the employees follow it. When you hire an expert to write the DEI language in your company handbook, but no one believes you then you’re just playing at being inclusive.
Create a culture in which your employees feel empowered to lead DEI initiatives. It will show the values they care about, and not only those of the CEO.
- Tips to get your staff involved in DEI:
- Incorporate a DEI Committee within your company that excludes HR and leaders.
- Each year, allocate a budget for DEI (Department of Education and Information) and education.
- Survey employees anonymously quarterly about DEI.
- Inviting guest speakers to discuss DEI issues at work
- Attending conferences to obtain DEI certifications is a must for Finance employees
10. Talk About It
Diversity and inclusion will not improve if you keep them hidden. You should bring them up in meetings and executive sessions, and also during individual 1-on-1s.
Do not be defensive when receiving feedback.
Inclusion and diversity in the workplace is not an endpoint, but rather a journey. The place you start your journey matters less than where you’re going.
Talk to CEOs and managers to learn what works. You can avoid mistakes and being insensitive by catering to local demographics.
More awareness and conversation will never harm the situation.
FAQ on how to encourage diversity and inclusion at work
How can leadership promote DEI in the workplace?
As the leader or founder of your company, you must set an example for DEI in the workplace. It is best to integrate DEI into your business as early as possible. However, it’s important to let your staff define what diversity looks like.
What are some ways to handle conflicts or misunderstandings when we work with people from different backgrounds?
To make your employees feel safer, train your HR team on DEI workplace conflict resolution. Teach your leaders to recognize tensions. It’s impossible to know if there are problems until they happen.
What can we do to ensure that all employees feel valued and heard, regardless of ethnicity or background?
Communicate, listen, and take action. Create anonymous avenues for feedback, like surveys or written statements that can be processed by your HR department. Make sure that you provide employees with safe methods to give feedback.
Become a more empathic leader
Learning how to encourage inclusion and diversity at work is not an easy task. It’s a continuous process.
It isn’t an excuse but rather an opportunity.
And we can help.
Learn why the copywriter places certain words in specific locations and why the digital advertising specialist always asks for more funds.