Companies in every industry spend time to promote diversity in the workplace, however the importance of inclusivity is often overlooked. This is in part, due to the fact that many people mistakenly believe that diversity and inclusivity are synonymous. Diversity includes age, ethnicity and a range of different characteristics. Inclusion centers around whether or not someone feels valued, respected, and accepted. While human resource departments are ensuring that their workplace includes diversity, making sure employees feel a sense of inclusivity is often times overlooked.
When an organization works diligently to create diverse company culture it’s equally important that attention is paid to the amount of inclusion taking place. Diversity and inclusion are major assets to the success of any business. The two go hand in hand to help promote creativity, collaboration, and keep employees satisfied
To promote inclusion the first step management should take is to have a clear understanding of exactly what inclusion is. People at authoritative levels should take part in mandatory training so that there isn’t any confusion. Explain to everyone what inclusion is and why it’s important. Furthermore, work together to create strategies that can strengthen inclusion in the company. Every leader might not understand what inclusivity actually means so try to find scenarios where a manager needs to improve how they’re managing a diverse team. If the environment is already diverse there will be ample opportunities for improving how the business is managed.
Management has to listen to the employees. It’s a great idea to put together surveys and hold focus groups to get an idea of how engaged staff is and find any inclusion issues that people might be facing. The surveys can help to get a feel for what makes people feel comfortable and what they may need to do a better job. By listening to people you’ll be able to make better decisions and strategically align everyone with the same goals. It’s imperative that employees feel safe to express their concerns and feel heard when they do.
There are many small ways to foster inclusion. By rotating meeting times you can ensure that everyone has an opportunity to attend. Distribute materials beforehand so that people have time to react, process the information, and consider any feedback or questions they have. Don’t assume that everyone understands the concepts that you’re discussing, especially if there are workers who use English as a second language. Promote debates, establish measurable goals, and identify shortcomings in a healthy manner. When people feel respected productivity and efficiency will improve. Making these small changes can benefit everyone on your team.
Mentoring programs are a great way to provide professional development opportunities and introduce everyone to each other. It can also help by increasing innovation and allowing people to converse with coworkers that they may not have spoken to before. There shouldn’t be conversations about diversity without also considering how inclusion will be implemented.