Diversity and inclusion in the workplace introduce new ideas, new products, and a safe, collaborative company culture for all employees. Executives know a diverse workforce, including varying races, ages, religions, genders, and sexual orientations brings many benefits to any organization. But even though the benefits are clear, knowing how to cultivate diversity and inclusion in the workplace may seem difficult.
Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Cultivating a diverse company culture includes making changes to company policies, creating new initiatives, and implementing tools designed to improve and support diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Here are some places to begin.
1. Evaluate Your Executives
Start at the top where the big decisions are made. Is your executive team diverse? This not only models diversity and inclusion but it indicates the actual breadth of change your organization can reach in terms of cultivating a diverse culture and policy. If your executive team isn’t comprised of varying genders, races, ages, and cultures, you might want to dig a little deeper for talent or find out what’s getting in your way of hiring those who may not look or believe like you.
2. Foster a Diverse Company Culture
Company culture is what sets the tone for acceptable behavior, skills usage, and trust in management. Does your company culture have zero tolerance for microaggressions or discriminatory behavior? Do employees feel safe to report if they’re harassed at work? Does management demonstrate how important they take their employees’ safety? Can all employees feel free to express themselves authentically and remain appreciated? If you’ve come up with any “no”s, you may have some work to do in this realm.
3. Match Culture with Policy
Cultivating an inclusive culture is important but having policies that back it up is even more vital. How do you enforce expectations of diversity and inclusion in the workplace? How do you hold managers and employees accountable when they fail to meet those expectations? Ensuring you have policies around this not only makes it much harder for major issues to fall through the cracks, but it also can help prevent future legal and financial issues related to lawsuits where your company may not be in compliance with federal policies around discrimination, harassment, and exclusion.
4. Make Your Workplace Inclusive
Establishing gender-friendly restrooms and dedicating nursing rooms for new mothers are ways that any physical workspace can develop more inclusive practices. Expecting employees to use their coworkers’ requested pronouns is another way to make your workplace inclusive.
5. Identify and Eliminate Biases
Biases are the most common barriers to diverse workplaces because they mostly remain unconscious until we actively engage with them. So recognize that you may have implicit worries about hiring certain populations of folks due to stereotypes, assumptions, or just being part of a culture that struggles to embrace diversity in safe and collaborative ways. Then decide to make different decisions based on your awareness of how misguided these biases usually are. Do your research, ask for help in navigating these biases, and then stop allowing them to make important business decisions for you.
Improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace requires focus, knowledge, and resources that not all companies have on-hand. Get support from neutral and experienced professionals who can guide you through communication and diversity training programs. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right solutions for your team.