A frequent conversation lately is about the importance of building an inclusive workplace. Maybe you’re looking for ways to make your workplace more inclusive. However, before you get there, you need to understand what an inclusive workplace is. We’ll talk about that, how to build this type of workplace, and what benefits it offers to team members and the company as a whole.
Build an inclusive workplace
Let’s start with some stats!
47% – Increased likelihood of employees staying with an organization if it’s inclusive Build an inclusive workplace
90% – Likelihood of an employee going out of their way to help a colleague if they work in an inclusive environment
7x – increased likelihood of employees saying their organization is high performing if it’s inclusive
These numbers are staggering. Inclusivity in the workplace is more important than ever. We know that 70% of people prefer some sort of hybrid work, and that number is 15% higher for minority groups such as LGBTQIA+ individuals and people with disabilities. But how do we as managers ensure our employees feel inclusive? More importantly, How do we build an inclusive workplace? It isn’t an easy thing to do.
A McKinsey study said this on the subject: “Improving diversity and representation in a sustainable way is difficult without inclusion—embracing, supporting, and enabling employees to make meaningful contributions. Without an inclusive environment, even an organization with a diverse employee population will probably struggle to improve its long-term performance. The widespread adoption of hybrid work has complicated the struggle to build and maintain such cultures.”
Luckily they did the hard lifting on this. Their study showed a clear consensus across all demographic groups on which inclusion practices they felt were the most important.
What we need to build an inclusive workplace:
– Work–life support: demonstrating appreciation for employees’ non-work demands, responsibilities, and interests
– Mutual respect: showing genuine concern for the well-being of all employees, and a commitment by employees to treat one another fairly and respectfully.
– Team building: working to foster trust, collaboration, and healthy conflict among team members
Team building is where Teamraderie comes into play. It’s important that everyone feels welcome during team events to ensure that employees bond and connect with each other. Large, off-site events aren’t enough to keep teams engaged and connected, which is why Teamraderie specializes in the Something In Between – the purposeful, 45-minute experiences your team can do every 2-3 months where employees learn about each other in a fun and engaging way, leading to enhanced engagement and stronger feelings of inclusivity. Build an inclusive workplace
What Is an Inclusive Workplace?
First, let’s talk about what an inclusive workplace is. The main goal is for it to be a place where all employees feel valued and comfortable. This applies regardless of a worker’s race, gender, sexuality, culture, or background. Instead of hiring people who all have the same thoughts and feelings, it’s important to bring in people of all types.
When this kind of workplace is instituted, diversity is not only present but celebrated. The workplace becomes a space that acknowledges differences but sees them as a benefit for the company. By creating a workplace where diversity is an important part of the landscape, it can build a space for everyone to be a part of the company culture.
One of the most important aspects of creating an inclusive workplace is the celebration of diversity and its role in the organization. Instead of pretending that everyone is on equal footing or on the same playing field, it’s important to realize that probably isn’t true. Acknowledging that fact is the first step to creating equal opportunities for everyone at a company.
The most inclusive companies are those where proactive actions are implemented to be inclusive and diverse in terms of senior leaders and investors. While there have been all sorts of moves toward inclusion and diversity, studies show that there is still plenty of ground to cover.
For example, a poll by Glassdoor across four countries shows how things really are. More than one-third of employees have experienced or witnessed ageism, 33% have dealt with gender discrimination, and 30% have witnessed or experienced racism. Addressing this requires a real equal opportunity that only manifests through an inclusive workplace.
What Teams Need to Build an Inclusive Workplace
Several things need to be in place to ensure a diverse workforce flourishes at any company. You can’t pick and choose which of these things you implement. All three are important to providing the inclusivity you want to see.
The first thing needed for an inclusive workplace is work-life support. While leadership may care about the struggles employees have at work, it’s less common to delve into other assistance they might need. To build inclusive teams, you need to appreciate all the demands that workers have away from the company. Everyone has responsibilities, demands, and interests aside from work and should be able to partake in those things without worry.
The second thing that must be instituted in a diverse workplace is mutual respect. Team leaders should be showing authentic concern for the well-being of all those who work under them. On the side of employees, a commitment should be in place. Every person on the team should be expected and happy to treat other team members respectfully and fairly.
Finally, there should be a huge focus on team building. Communication should be a regular part of work, even in remote or hybrid situations. Leaders should be at the top working to foster the right characteristics of their team. You want to build a space with collaboration, trust, and healthy conflict between your team members.
Tips to Create an Inclusive Workplace
So how do you build this inclusive workplace? The first is that everything should start with leadership. Leaders should always be the origin of a culture shift or change in the workplace. If it isn’t a company goal, ideas can easily fall apart or teams might move in different directions.
It’s also essential to make sure employees have psychological safety in the workplace. Workplaces need leaders who are encouraging in terms of having workers share details about their lives. Knowing what is going on with them is a good way to ensure they feel safe and cared for at work and beyond. On the other side, members of the team should be trusted to make good choices.
Creating an inclusive workplace can be done by asking employees for feedback. There’s no way to ensure the workplace is what you want it to be if you haven’t spoken with the workers yet. There may be things you aren’t aware of going on under the surface. Those need to be rectified to build the right culture for diversity and inclusion.
The most important part of that is listening. Hold one-on-one meetings where you can learn more about employee concerns. Take what you hear seriously and take action when needed. Simply sitting down and having conversations will take you a long way. On top of that, let your workers share feedback, ideas, stories, and experiences that can guide you.
Our final tip is that creating a diverse workplace isn’t something that can be done once and then ignored. It’s something that has to undergo constant updates, changes, and adaptations to ensure it works. You’ll find there’s always something new to learn and another area to improve on. Open yourself up to those shifts when needed.
How an Inclusive Workplace Benefits Teams
Having an inclusive workplace has a huge number of benefits for teams. However, some of the benefits may not be as easy to imagine. Putting in the work to create an inclusive workplace can offer a ton of opportunities for the team.
When you create an inclusive workplace, it is the start of a healthy work environment. People, no matter who they are, feel a sense of belonging every day while doing their work. Both of those things are good on their own. However, they also lead to other benefits. When people feel they belong and consider their workplace healthy, it makes them happier when they work.
In addition, an inclusive team has employees who feel comfortable engaging with other members. When everyone feels like a part of things, they’re going to be more forthcoming with their ideas, thoughts, and criticisms. All of these things can help create a team that is more innovative and productive.
An inclusive workplace is one where creativity is nurtured and more likely to happen. Everyone will have unique insights, opinions, and backgrounds, which means that ideas are going to be diverse. However, this is only going to occur when diversity is not just present but encouraged and celebrated.
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