In the modern workplace, encouraging a sense of belonging and inclusivity is becoming increasingly important. Companies are seeing considerable benefits by making sure their workspaces provide accommodations for all of their employees. From higher revenue to increased employee morale to a healthier work environment, inclusivity is changing how businesses do business. If you are not already funneling resources into developing a culture of inclusivity, begin doing so immediately.
How can your company start championing inclusivity as a core part of its business plan? Here are three steps you can take right now to help you grow and nurture diversity, a sense of belonging, and equity in your workplace:
- Build resilient, inclusive recruitment pipelines
When it comes to inclusivity, many corporations talk the talk. They say the right words, and their leaders give suitable speeches. Unfortunately, employees see right through the virtue signaling if your current recruitment pipeline operates according to this well-known bias: ducks hire ducks.
What are your recruiting tactics? How exactly do you ensure you are considering all qualified applicants, rather than concentrating only on those who look like and act like your current employees? Where and how are you hiring most of your employees? What qualifications do you require when looking for a suitable job candidate? Asking yourself these questions will help you clarify how your current recruitment pipeline functions.
Then ask yourself another, more critical question: “How can I reorient my recruiting strategies so that we prioritize inclusivity every step of the way?”
- Offer anonymous and safe feedback channels for employees
Changing a company culture takes time. It also takes honesty and meaningful feedback. Your employees may feel uncomfortable sharing information that might point out inclusivity shortfalls within your company, or they could be uninformed about the benefits of inclusivity. Offering them an anonymous feedback channel may encourage them to open up to you about their concerns.
A safe and secure feedback channel could take the form of an HR feedback form. Or it could look like an employee-managed feedback dropbox. The possibilities are endless—so long as the goal remains to provide workers with ways to voice their feelings without fearing unwanted consequences.
- As a leader, mirror inclusive behavior in everything you do
Inclusivity grows from the bottom, but it starts at the top. Are you giving inclusivity seminars? Are you allowing diverse employees with differing perspectives and opinions to run those seminars? Is your leadership team the only group with a voice in meetings and calls, or do others have a strong sense of agency as well? Do your public gathering areas—the break room, the café, the lobby—promote conversation, connection, and transparency?
These factors can make all the difference when promoting a culture of inclusivity in your company’s workplace. If employees see organization leaders prioritize inclusivity, they are much more likely to mirror and reciprocate that same behavior.
Never stop investing in inclusivity
Inclusivity is hard. One speech, meeting, new hire or corporate policy will not provide your company with a diverse business culture overnight. However, dozens of small changes that foster inclusivity from both the ground up and the top down can and will allow your company to reap the rewards of being a vibrant, comprehensive culture.