Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to join the dance.
Most HR managers understand the numerous benefits of a diverse workforce and see value in hiring people from different social, political, and economic backgrounds. When everyone brings something different to the table, the whole organization will benefit.
However, giving attention to diversity is only half the battle. All team members should feel included for diversity to work. Unfortunately, this is where the real struggle lies for most organizations.
This guide discusses the importance of inclusion and steps you can take to make it part of your business culture.
The most significant impact of inclusivity is that employees will be more engaged because they feel that they belong. As a result, organizations that prioritize inclusion have an employee retention rate that is five times higher than their counterparts.
More inclusion also improves employee problem-solving capabilities and morale. These two factors are directly proportional to productivity.
Inclusivity does not only relate to who works at your organization but also relates to how strong your employees’ voices are. There need to be avenues to share ideas, offer constructive criticism, and ask for support or additional resources. Inclusivity also means allowing everyone to be part of the operation function in any organization.
Often, failing to create inclusive workplaces is implicit, where discrimination is performed unconsciously or due to ignorance. So, how can we avoid this and create truly inclusive workplaces?
Below are five key components on which you can work.
Building an inclusive team is not just about hiring a quota of employees from minority and marginalized groups. This strategy quickly becomes performative and unsustainable. Therefore, what kind of culture should we create for meaningful inclusion?
First, we can start by creating a mentoring program for underrepresented employees. Many underrepresented employees face numerous challenges that affect their mental health and productivity.
Addressing these issues means they need extra support and guidance to succeed in biased environments. Mentoring programs focus on equipping disadvantaged members with skills and resilience. They also provide networking opportunities.
Second, organizations can invest in sponsorship programs where senior employees leverage their influence to advance the career of a junior employee. This often occurs when a senior employee chooses a protegee, resulting in a declaration of confidence in the protegee’s capabilities.
The problem is that senior employees often choose protegees of the same race and gender as they are. Sponsorship of protegees from underrepresented groups must therefore be a proactive endeavor.
Finally, organizations can invest in creating psychological safety at the workplace. Employees can contribute regardless of status or identity in these work environments. They are not scared of being penalized for giving alternative ideas or suggesting changes. Such an environment creates a sense of belonging and support, making employees more loyal.
Fair recruitment focuses on the skills of applicants. But how do we make sure that our choices aren’t biased? A fool-proof strategy is to consider a non-profit executive recruiter.
Non-profit recruiters are responsible for evaluating and training new employees. In addition to that, these recruiters can help you create a research-based strategy on how to recruit employees fairly and avoid mistakes when searching for your next hire. They can also help you keep track of any overrepresentation and find methods to incorporate diversity transparently.
Team building activities are an effective tool for improving communication, building trust, and developing confidence amongst employees. Team building also encourages better cooperation between employees, thus enhancing productivity by improving synergy.
During team-building sessions, everyone can participate, be seen and heard. Although these exercises are confined to a point in time, the skills practiced can translate into an employee’s work. The bonding that occurs is invaluable as well.
Team building also helps break down walls between employees of all kinds. Also, biases carried in from outside environments will be more readily challenged.
For employers, appreciation is centered around the value that employees add. In addition, diversity enriches organizations because people with different experiences offer unique perspectives. Therefore, employers can create a more inclusive environment by remembering to highlight any instances of this.
An example would be appreciating the insights of an employee who is a native of the region in which you are working, especially if those insights made your efforts more effective and sincere.
Despite the operational hierarchy in all organizations, all employees need access to helpful resources. All employees, regardless of identity, race, gender, or disabilities should have equal access to career improvement resources and financial benefits. Thus, organizations should pay a closer look to the web accessibility laws and make sure the resources presented are as accessible as possible.
How employees get these resources should also be transparent. If it can be merit-based, all the better.
We live in good times where all humans can have their rights protected and dignity upheld. Although there is still a lot to do, we should not be discouraged but make sure that we are all doing our part.
There is nothing apart from value to be gained by investing in inclusivity. Every human being has immense value, and your organization can harness that value.short url: