Creating an inclusive culture in the workplace is not only the “right” thing to do, it can also have a host of benefits for any organization.
Inclusion creates increased employee engagement and a sense of belonging, which goes a long way to boosting morale amongst employees. According to recent research, employees who feel included are more engaged at work, have a sense of greater well-being in their lives, are more committed to their company, are more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work and tend to stay with an organization longer than employees who do not feel included.
Inclusion in the workplace is one of the most important keys to retention.
Research has also shown that inclusive workplaces tend to have higher revenue growth, a greater readiness to innovate and an increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool.
Here are some tips for creating an inclusive work culture.
Start at the top
When it comes to creating and promoting inclusivity in the workplace, it pays to start at the top. Prioritizing inclusivity within any organization will be a challenge if the C-suite doesn’t buy-in. Educate the executive leadership team on what it means to be inclusive and why it is important. This could mean creating a safe space where an organization’s leaders can ask awkward or potentially embarrassing questions before leading inclusivity initiatives company-wide.
Once leadership is on board, they can lead by example and set an authentic, inclusive tone for the entire organization.
Implement inclusive recruitment strategies
Once the leadership team is on board and has set the tone, it will be easy to extend the attitude of inclusivity and diversity throughout the organization.
Research has shown that people, inherently, tend to recruit people who are more like them. Organizations can counter this unconscious bias by taking a close look at recruitment tactics and ensuring the hiring process is approached with the goal of fostering inclusivity and diversity.
Provide safe spaces for employees
Truly inclusive workplaces go above and beyond when considering how to make all employees feel safe and comfortable at work, especially those from marginalized groups.
For example, gendered washrooms have the potential to make transgender and gender non-conforming employees uncomfortable. An easy and relatively simple way to signal a progressive and inclusive workplace is to offer unisex bathrooms.
On a broader level, creating an inclusive culture can be achieved by simply spending time together. Team lunches or other casual informal events can help employees connect with each other. Organizations with larger workforces may want to consider creating an in-office support group or network for diverse employees to help them connect with others who share their experiences.
Give employees multiple ways to provide feedback
Giving employees an outlet to connect, share stories and provide feedback goes a long way to promoting an environment of inclusivity in the workplace.
Whether it’s through regular employee surveys, town hall meetings or a suggestion box, giving employees different ways to share their input and perspectives will help create an open dialogue and make them feel included and valued.