Diversity is more than just another buzzword. Yes, it’s hot on the agenda at the moment, and companies of all sizes need to take note. A strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your business attract top talent and drive innovative results. Creating diversity in your business is much like hosting an event; you need to bring people together, make them feel welcome and ensure no one is left out!
As the title says, everyone matters. For each individual to bring their best self forward, a sense of belonging must first be established. Employees must be allowed to come to work as their true selves. Everyone should feel like part of the family; after all, we spend 75% of our time at work, so everyone needs to be appreciated, respected and loved! Ask your employee’s how they feel about their work culture. Is there something you could do to make them feel like they belong? Remember, It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach so be sure to invest the time in making sure everyone has their say.
Spread responsibilities evenly
Some of your most intelligent employees may also be shy. Not everyone speaks up so don’t fall into the trap of giving all the duties and visibility to those who ask for it. If employees feel like they don’t belong or they think other employees are favoured the chances are they won’t speak up but 90% of the time if given a chance, those employees are just as capable if not more capable of getting the task done.
Make sure your door is always open
If someone voices a complaint about bias or discrimination, listen carefully, and let them know that you care. Not everyone deals with things the same way, and just because something hasn’t bothered you, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t affected someone else. So even if you think that someone is hypersensitive, do not underestimate the courage that it takes to bring up an uncomfortable issue in the workplace.
Don’t let things slide
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve seen someone say or do something unkind to someone else, but the problem is we don’t always speak up. Even without someone voicing a complaint, if you witness someone say or do something inappropriate, don’t let it slide. Everyone in a room may laugh at a sexist joke, but that does not make it appropriate workplace behaviour, and ignoring it can send the wrong signal. Hearing staff mock disabled people even if your office doesn’t have disabled employees is still wrong. Be sure to set the tone of what you will and won’t allow and make sure everyone knows they can come to you if they’re feeling vulnerable.
Diversity is more than skin colour
If you ask someone what diversity means in the workplace, almost everyone will say including people of people races. Although this is true, that’s only part of it. Diversity is about including a variety of characteristics such as religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, disabilities, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and many other characteristics may not be visible.
Some biases are called “unconscious” because we don’t even realise we have them. Being unconsciously bias isn’t deliberate, so it’s harder to spot. People don’t realise that they are making unfair assumptions or stereotypes so educate yourself and your staff about unconscious biases, figure out your weak points and be aware of the potential pitfalls – for yourself and those around you.
Providing a diverse culture is one thing, but Inclusion is ongoing, It isn’t enough to know and teach what it means to be inclusive. Make sure you’re continually reviewing your diversity and inclusion strategy so that your workplace is a place everyone is proud to call home!