Eight Inclusivity Tips for Companies

Eight Inclusivity Tips for Companies

Creating a more inclusive environment for employees and customers is a big goal for many companies across Indiana, but it’s not always a clear and easy process. Sometimes it can seem like a daunting endeavor, particularly for workplace cultures that haven’t changed much over time. Flexibility and constant learning will be key to improving inclusivity, and there are several handy pointers to know as you begin.

To be an inclusive company means that your business is a place where people of all types feel equal. The goal should be to create a safe and respectful environment for all employees, clients, and visitors. Establishing this will require a lot of input from all of the different stakeholders involved, and it will lead to methods that will most certainly evolve over time.

To help companies get started on their path to become more inclusive, we’ve compiled several tips and tidbits about inclusivity that leaders should know. Let’s dive in.

 

  1. Understand Inclusion

Inclusion is a very engaged process. As defined by the Society of Human Resources (SHRM), inclusion is achieved when “all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.”

 

  1. Share Ideas

If you’re company has people that you would describe as “being in the background,” that’s one of the first areas of concern that should be addressed. An inclusive company encourages people to voice their opinions and share ideas. There’s a good reason for companies to encourage this, too, as it often leads to profitable outcomes through things like improved efficiencies, better job satisfaction, and problem solutions.

 

  1. Express Value

Inclusive businesses express how their customers and employees are valued. This has a powerful effect on retention, keeping customers coming back and employees happy in their roles. It’s very inexpensive to do this and the results can be tremendous, so it’s definitely a practice worth beginning immediately.

 

  1. Foster Growth

There used to be a time in history when companies didn’t show much concern for the personal growth of their employees. A person’s role was a person’s role, and that was that. Companies like that are having a very hard time finding talent these days. The ones that aren’t are the ones providing access to professional development opportunities. When employees feel invested in, they work even harder for their companies and tend to be significantly more loyal over the long term.

 

  1. Encourage Culture

The world is filled with interesting cultures, holidays, and things to learn. Employees of all different backgrounds should be encouraged to share these experiences with their colleagues. Consider broadening your company’s typical annual celebrations to include all kinds of diverse holidays and traditions.

 

  1. Team Up

Pair up your employees into small groups or partnerships to create an environment of greater understanding between people from different backgrounds. This is also a great way to create top-down networking throughout your entire company. These groups can meet up regularly for things like lunch, projects, or other team-building activities. Also, rotate these groups on a routine basis so that eventually everyone in your company gets to meet all of their colleagues and get to know one another.

 

  1. Curb Bias

Even though we make an effort to do better, human beings often have unconscious biases. People are natural pattern seekers and categorizers, and this isn’t always a good thing. Fortunately, the ability to recognize and curb unconscious biases is something that can be trained. It’s important to note this kind of training isn’t a one-and-done effort, though, and must be something reiterated and followed up on continually to really make a change.

 

  1. Lead Effectively

Inclusion is something that needs regular review, evaluation, and adjustment. Therefore, it would be a very good idea to establish an inclusion team made up of diverse leaders that are committed to creating an inclusive environment. They should serve as the inclusion liaison between executive levels of a company and all other levels and will be tasked with consistently finding ways to improve.

 

Each Day Matters

As your company sets out to become more inclusive, remember that each daily interaction matters. This process is an ongoing incremental one. Everyone at your company is in this and learning together, one step at a time.

Although building inclusivity does seem like a difficult task as a company begins its effort, when taken step by step it becomes a gradual and very positive undertaking that is very likely to bring about great results for employees, customers, and everyone else that your company encounters. It’s a very worthwhile goal for any business.

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