On the surface, diversity and inclusion might look like a box that needs to be checked along the hiring process. However, D&I is much more than that if you want an accurate representation of it within your organization. The second letter in that initiative starts at the beginning of the onboarding process and continues as employees grow within your organization. Building an inclusive culture helps develop staff both personally and professionally, making them more complete employees for your company.
So, what steps can you take to build an inclusive organization?
Encourage Deeper Connections
When it comes to creating connections within your organization, lead by example. Nurture the types of relationships that build trust and allow others to be open with you over time. Don’t assume things about people based on what you know at the onset. Instead, authentically get to know them and have conversations of substance from there.
Create a Safe Space
Hiring a diverse workforce comes with having different personalities, meaning some might not be as open to inclusivity as others. Whenever you see others being excluded, it’s your job as a leader to put a stop to it immediately. When it comes to safe spaces, tangible ways of being more inclusive include designating a lactation area for breastfeeding mothers so they aren’t stuck pumping in a closet or bathroom and using pronouns in email signatures or slack names.
Support and Celebrate
Different people require different needs. Think about all religions and cultures and rework your company calendar if you’re able. At the least, encourage people to take time off to celebrate their holidays if it’s not a part of your organization’s calendar observances.
Structure Meetings Appropriately
We’ve all been in meetings where one or two people command the conversation. Prior to a meeting, send out talking points. This action gives those who are more socially introverted a chance to prepare ideas or suggestions for the meeting topics. If you have remote participants, make sure the virtual platform is tested before the meeting begins.
Form an Inclusion Task Force
An inclusion initiative isn’t something you can set and forget. It will evolve with time. Inclusivity needs to be checked in with or updated periodically. Put together a diverse group of people who have leadership qualities and/or positions within a company. Diversity doesn’t span just cultures and demographics; departments and roles should also be considered when putting together a diverse group of people.
The openness to hearing the viewpoint of your employees can make or break an organization’s development and success. When speaking with employees, make sure they understand you welcome their feedback, and there’s an open-door policy regarding it. If you have introverts who might not feel as comfortable coming to you and discussing, whether face-to-face or digitally, create an area on-site or in the digisphere where employees can go to solicit feedback. Similar to a suggestion box.
Represent Different Cultures
Internal documents should include bilingual options for those who use English as a second language. The same goes for signs on display around an organization. It’s important to accommodate your employees, but it also showcases that your company is welcoming to all.
Being inclusive should remain a mindset of all employees within an organization. It’s great to keep a diversified workforce, but it’s more important to keep employees feeling included throughout their time within your company. Does your company embrace inclusion? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 5 Ways the Job Search Has Changed in 2022.