Having a diverse and inclusive workplace culture is simpler said than done. Most companies, mainly small businesses and startups consider it their top priority but find it tough to work towards it. If you’re facing such a situation, don’t worry- you’re not the only one.
Luckily, learning steps to promote diversity and inclusion in your company culture is no science. Just a little knowledge, know-how, and action are needed. And if you get it right, you can enjoy these benefits:
- 70% more opportunities to capture new markets.
- 60% enhancement in making decisions.
- 30% improvement in the performance of the teams.
- 19% enhancement in earnings
- 2.3 times higher income of every employee.
Doesn’t it look great?? And this is on top of the hard-to-assess factors like having a helpful and supportive team, spreading teamwork and love, and developing a safe and appreciative work environment.
Who doesn’t want to make their business/ company a better place to work in? Here are some benefits of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Table of Contents
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
A diverse team includes people of all ages, races, ethnicity, culture, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, experience, and economic strata. They bring varied points of view and perspectives to the business.
They further help the company develop innovative and new products by opting for new and diverse ways to cater to customers. By checking the stats on the effect of inclusive and diverse initiatives, the advantages it has on a workplace are high, including more revenue, innovative ideas, better decision making, equality, fair treatment, and fair pay.
This is why most managers and executives don’t have any issue embracing D&I initiatives and policies, as it helps increase diversity and inclusiveness among teams. However, this is just the start.
Simply put, diversity in a business doesn’t bring inclusivity either. Diversity should be a priority, but the next big step is to develop a culture where people from all races, nationalities and backgrounds feel included. Inclusivity serves as the base for maintaining diversity in a workplace.
The company should adopt proven strategies to establish and follow a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Here are some of them given:
1. Acknowledge difference
Discover bias and develop an awareness of it to bring a real change. There are different types of bias. The most common one is an unconscious bias which involves unrevealed feelings of bias. Unconscious biases don’t generally support declared beliefs. Hence they should be given more attention.
Leaders should address this bias by helping their workforce understand how people are affected by unconscious bias and what things highlight biases. A simple way to address bias is to motivate every worker to assess, question, and evaluate their assumptions and biases.
Recording events of stereotyping will help employees gain awareness as they will make unconscious bias turn to conscious bias. It will help people correct themselves as soon as they start stereotyping people.
2. Encourage managers to hire a diverse workforce
The relationship between managers and workers is an important one. Most workers majorly leave their job because of their detachment from their managers.
Assuming that managers acknowledge the significance of workplace diversity and know the right method to recruit a diverse team of employees is wrong. Empowering them with the abilities needed to recruit, develop and nurture a vivid team is essential. Scheduling coaching and cultural sensitivity training is the primary step here.
Evaluating reporting frameworks and employee feedback reports is essential to confirm a transparent, effective, and efficient communication channel between the managers and their reports.
When a company chooses to go for workplace diversity, it is essential to empower the management with appropriate resources to make your workforce potential unlimited.
Note: Try to encourage managers to hire a diverse workforce from within. So, they can embrace it easily and integrate it with the company’s core values.
Managers can share stats of organizations’ diversity in teams, vertically, and roles. Using this data will help managers to calculate the evolution of diversity within the team. Also, managers should be accountable for the lack of diversity. If the difference is ignored, businesses will never benefit from diversity.
Managers shouldn’t just focus on hiring a diverse workforce but also generate a workplace culture that welcomes and amplifies differences.
3. Offer implicit bias training
Irrespective of how unbiased and open managers and companies think they are, judgments are mostly engrained due to their lifestyle and socialization experiences.
With implicit bias training, companies can provide a secure place to create awareness of unconscious bias and provide equipment to help change the judgmental behavior of managers, employees, and leaders.
4. Provide coaches and create an employee-led taskforce
To promote employee development, starting a coaching program is essential. It would help to boost the professional growth of every employee. coaching programs offer coachees a committed coach to discuss rising issues and well-defined support for career growth.
Employees should feel comfortable discussing their concerns with their coaches, especially about their treatment because of their gender, age, nationality, sexuality, and other factors.
Managers should consistently take feedback from the diverse team and develop a committed diversity task force with employees from all departments. This offers clarity, ownership, and buy-in from all the workers.
Acknowledging that everyone is not happy to use the conventional internal communication channels, these task forces can help bolster workspace culture and worker engagement.
Employees should be offered coaches irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity, or other aspects. Directly involving a diversity program in the company helps improve inclusion. It enhances overall satisfaction, productivity, and retention and improves a brand’s identity and reputation.
5. Get people to learn by doing
For instance, if you are an MD with just one female engineer in your team, you don’t need a chance to hire other women with her to develop a team. All you need to do is give her a leadership role and let her success do the talking to open men’s minds.
Allowing people to function out of the norm is considered more effective than using deeply held attitudes as it proves that it is more straightforward and has more power to change attitudes.
However, it is important to consider the other employees as such steps can add stress to minorities, and they may get under pressure to prove themselves.
6. Encourage personal evaluation
When it comes to coaching and training the team for diversity and inclusion, the coaches first ask everyone to check out their Facebook and LinkedIn networks and assess the aggregate diversity they have to give them a reality check.
If the entire senior staff in an office is men, does it prove that women are not considered good leaders in your workplace? Reviewing personal contacts is also a good way to assess your perspective toward a diverse team, friend list, and colleagues. It gives you a vision of your behavior.
7. Ask questions
It is important to ask yourself questions to understand your approach to a diverse workplace. Whether it is about recruiting, promoting, or removing an employee, ask yourself, if the person’s social identity, gender, or nationality was different, would you have done the same?
For instance, female staff or disabled individuals will often receive a unique etiquette than their male colleagues.
Asking questions is all about a self-check which helps you keep your unconscious bias in control and helps promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
8. Value all types of diversity
Your perspective, behavior, and attitude toward diversity will differ from everyone else’s. As a manager, leader, or executive, it is your duty to add value to your team. Inclusivity means that everyone can have a place in the team and a voice in the company’s daily operations.
It is up to the manager to offer the right way and take corrective action that point toward valuing all diversity. Some major things are valuing all genders and adopting a neutral language when speaking to a team. It doesn’t hurt the sentiments of any gender.
9. Create more inclusive workplace policies
Developing a diverse team may need you to change or start new policies. It is essential to consider the effect of your current systems and calculate if it prevents people from entering or staying in your organization.
As you aim to get more, adopt a diverse workforce, dive deep into your current practices and host a complete assessment of your workplace.
Supporting workplace diversity involves the creation of new policies and changing the existing ones all over the company, from hiring to performance assessments and promotions.
For instance, when job openings arise, mention descriptions that relate to a broader and more diverse audience. Post the job descriptions and hire people from all parts of society.
Some inclusive strategies that assist diversity and inclusion in a workspace are:
- Letting employees take leave for religious vacations
- Providing on-site daycare
- Assessing the setup of the office to provide an inclusive environment
- Offering better options for flexible office hours
- Providing a team app with a translation function so every employee can easily interact in their preferred language
Using these strategies will help give employees an equal opportunity to work in an office. Employers can now participate in coaching programs to further the diversity and inclusive opportunities they can provide to their team.
10. Offer workplace flexibility
Workplace flexibility means providing employees the leisure to choose from when and where they want to work. Providing this facility to a team can help make your workplace more welcoming and accommodating to parents, students, travelers, and folks who want to work from home or part-time. It helps companies add more unique individuals to their diverse teams and broadens their hiring spectrum.
Well, learning the right ways to promote diversity and inclusion in a company is not a one-time or one-step action. It is an eternal procedure. However, this is not the only area in which a leader should put all their attention. Other places have their fair share and need help. It is important to address the issues of a diverse team and ensure that it gets resolved as soon as possible. Actively and purposely investing in diversity and inclusion will help develop a satisfactory, content, and more engaged workforce that benefits the company on all levels.
uExcelerate’s DE&I coaching program is a great way to promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace, is an ideal way to raise awareness of implicit attitudes and will help your organisation learn how to develop mechanisms to adopt and explore the values of a diverse office. Adding it in the L&D plans will prepare managers, leaders, and executives to promote a healthy, diverse team moving ahead to success. It can help create a classroom culture where people differ in many ways, from generation, majors, education, nations, and gender.
It may be tough to work with people when you don’t understand who they are or where they’re coming from, but if you aim to achieve a diverse and inclusive team, you will eventually know that every person has something unique and useful to add.
With more and more employers believing in this notion, a diverse and inclusive team is the next big thing. Around 77% of employers in India agree that diversity and inclusion are essential for better company performance.
Learn more about uExcelerate’s DE&I program by reaching out to us at [email protected].