15 Tips for Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Without diversity and inclusion, it would be challenging to benefit from a greater talent pool. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace provide valuable insights. This helps serve your customers' or clients' needs more effectively. However, many organizations fail to align their organizational goals with diversity inclusion and equity practices. If you want to keep your customers happy every day, you must implement the proper diversity and inclusion training. Here is everything you need to know.
Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
Organizations can benefit from a diverse workforce in terms of gender, religion, age, race, sexual orientation, national origin, and gender identity. You need different perspectives to drive your company in this competitive business environment. With a diverse and inclusive workspace, you can improve the way you serve customers. Companies with a lot of diversity also benefit from higher revenue, better decision-making processes, innovative products and services, and higher job acceptance rates during recruitment periods. Besides customers, even employees will be flocking to work for you instead of your competitors.
1. Inclusive Workplace
Even though some businesses have diversity training, this does not mean they are inclusive. Diversity is essential, but you need to create a culture where people from all backgrounds feel included. Inclusivity is critical to maintaining workplace diversity. Always think about the difference between diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. If your firm does not score high on inclusiveness, you may alienate some people in your organization. Think about a breastfeeding mother who has come back to work. Someone may be religious and feeling insecure about practicing their daily prayers at work. You may also have someone unsure about speaking another language at work. You may have all these different people working for you to tick a few diversity boxes. But you need to make people feel proud and valued. By acknowledging the differences between diversity and inclusiveness, you can create better initiatives. Then you can improve your business culture.
2. Train Your Executive Team
How your executive team is formed says a lot about your diversity and inclusion practices. For instance, think about how diverse your top management team is. Do they represent ethnic and gender diversity? Are men and women represented equally in your executive team? According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), only 24 CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women, only one is a lesbian, and three are openly gay. Although some firms may not have enough control over their executive team, they can put in place diversity and inclusion training. Offer executive and C-suite employees the right diversity and inclusion certification programs. This can help them communicate more authentically with other employees. This will also help you attract a diverse talent pool because future employees will see how inclusive your executive team is.
3. Cultural and Religious Practices
Your organization should have policies to honor various religious and cultural practices. Without an inclusive culture, you will not enjoy high productivity and engagement from employees. This can be done by focusing on different celebrations and holidays. For example, if you give people Christmas Day off, you should make an effort to include other religious holidays. You can also do other little things around the office, like designating a separate fridge for Kosher food. Although these are small gestures, they will speak volumes. Then you can motivate employees and show how committed you are towards diversity equity and inclusion.
4. Make People Feel Welcome
Many employees quit their jobs if they cannot be their authentic selves. If a workplace does not appreciate a person's uniqueness, they will go elsewhere to feel valued. This is why you need to create a work environment that makes everyone feel connected. You need to include people so they can feel free to express themselves and their unique ideas. Avoid playing favorites. Pay attention to how you can introduce more non-discriminatory policies.
5. Address Pay Inequality
You cannot have a culture of diversity and inclusion without trust. You need transparency and open discussions to talk about gender pay disparities. Many companies struggle with pay disparities. There is a reason why people rarely share how much they earn with other colleagues. It is necessary to have open communication channels. This allows employees to share their feelings and perspectives to tackle this problem.
6. Multilingual Teams
Many top executives who are fluent in the organizational language struggle to understand how an outsider feels. Imagine getting to work every day where everyone speaks a language that is not native to you. To make everyone feel included, you should not ignore the language barriers that some staff members may be experiencing. Global companies have translation services to help their employees, but small firms also need to catch up with this. Your employees should always feel comfortable and secure while communicating. Offer people the chance to express themselves in their own language instead of casting them aside for not being fluent in English.
7. Diverse Thinking
Different people from various backgrounds have unique perspectives on all types of issues. This can involve what someone wears, how they write emails, or their feedback during employee reviews. They can even have different ways of pitching in meetings. By embracing diverse thinking, you can create the most inclusive environment. Then everyone can feel heard and relevant.
8. Multigenerational Workforce
All organizations should accommodate and recognize a multigenerational workforce. This is critical if you want to build the most diverse and inclusive work environment. This will help you think outside the box to make everyone feel respected. For instance, an older millennial may not be as tech-savvy as a much younger millennial. You should prepare yourself with the best communication practices to help all generations embrace your diversity and inclusion efforts.
9. Strengthen Policies
Many companies have superficial policies on paper. These are anti-discriminatory rules and regulations that are written down but rarely followed. If a company does not take its anti-discriminatory policies seriously, people can get away with being racist bullies at work. To drive real change, you must make employees believe your commitment to strengthening these policies.
10. Eradicate Bias
It is no secret that hiring and recruitment processes in many organizations are full of bias. There is too much unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism during interviews and selection. This can harm your company's image if it is left unchecked. You should rewrite your job descriptions to sound gender-neutral and create a blind system to review resumes to avoid seeing demographic information that can affect someone's judgment.
11. Employee Engagement Surveys
You should regularly have employee engagement surveys that get reviewed by HR. These should be segmented according to geography, ethnicity, generation, and gender. Otherwise, HR departments may miss seeing the entire picture to identify issues related to these segments.
12. Introduce Focus Groups
Nothing beats focus groups if you want to get a lot of qualitative data to tackle issues related to diversity. Having a focus group can provide deep insights about your employees. People will also speak more freely if you use an outside company as a facilitator for training sessions or focus groups.
13. Individual Discussions
You should always take the time to have one-on-one discussions with every employee. This way, you can find out what your employees care about. For the most compelling talks, you need to implement an open-door policy. This way, people will comfortably approach you to speak their minds. As a top executive or manager, you should show that you are authentic during these discussions. Help employees realize that they are valued by you. Then they will trust your leadership.
14. Accessible Technology
Companies should think about all their workers when introducing new technologies in the workplace. You need to think about the end-user and how to deliver information to them. Many employees, such as truck drivers, warehouse workers, and firefighters may not be the most tech-savvy group. Therefore, you should not surprise them with the latest digital tools without a complete training course. Otherwise, your employees may burn out and feel overwhelmed if they are not on the same page as everyone else.
15. Use Words Carefully
When you speak to your employees, do you make them feel equal? Language can be extremely powerful, depending on how you use it. You should think about the words you use and why they matter. To achieve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you should always be careful about your tone and phrases. Then you can avoid offending someone. You should also have a zero-tolerance policy for racist or sexist jokes in the office. This will send a message to all employees to respect each other's differences and embrace unique perspectives.
Strengthen Business Values
Diversity and inclusion can be tricky to achieve. However, you should follow these 15 tips and start having open dialogues around the office. Have an open-door policy to speak to employees and ask them about their issues.