Tips for building an inclusive work culture
Creating an inclusive workplace culture is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and respect among all employees. It means going beyond just diversity and actively working to ensure everyone feels valued and included.
However, creating a truly inclusive workplace culture can be challenging; outdated beliefs and exclusionary policies can hamper progress and cause friction within the workplace. Nevertheless, the importance of fostering an inclusive work culture far outweighs any resistance you might encounter on the way.
Why an inclusive workplace culture is important
Inclusive workplace cultures have a multitude of benefits that can positively impact both employees by fostering a sense of belonging and respect and the company as a whole by promoting creativity, innovation, and productivity.
An inclusive workplace culture promotes employee well-being and mental health. When employees feel included and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction and decreased turnover rates.
Inclusive workplace cultures also promote creativity and innovation. When employees from diverse backgrounds and experiences come together, they bring a range of perspectives and ideas to the table. This can lead to more creative problem-solving and innovative solutions.
Additionally, inclusive workplace cultures can help improve the company's reputation and brand. Companies that prioritize inclusivity and diversity are more attractive to potential employees and customers. This can lead to increased profitability and growth opportunities.
Finally, an inclusive workplace culture is simply the right thing to do. It ensures that all employees are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their background or identity. By creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and included, we can work towards a more equitable and just society.
How to build an inclusive workplace
- Start with education: Educate yourself and your team on what it means to be inclusive and why it's important. This can include workshops, training sessions, and reading materials. It’s important to ensure your team is on-side before meaningful change can happen. By offering training to your staff, you can not only ensure that they are better informed, but you can also provide tangible evidence that your business values inclusivity and diversity. This can enhance your employer branding, and signal to candidates and potential employees that your workplace accepts and embraces diversity.
- Take action: Be proactive in your efforts to build an inclusive workplace. This can include implementing policies and practices that promote inclusivity, such as flexible, remote, and hybrid work models, improving physical accessibility in the workplace, implementing policies and procedures relating to inclusivity, and adopting inclusive hiring practices. Inclusive hiring practices can include offering digital options for interviews and screening, using AI to assist in sifting applications to avoid unconscious bias, and offering subsidies for travel to interviews etc.
- Encourage open communication: Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. Encourage open dialogue and active listening to ensure everyone's voice is heard. This can include setting up regular forums for discussion, providing methods of anonymous feedback so issues can be highlighted without fear of recrimination, or making yourself approachable and encouraging your team members to come to you with any concerns or questions they may have.
- Foster a culture of respect: Lead by example and treat each employee with respect and dignity, regardless of their background or identity. Set clear expectations for respectful behaviour and hold everyone accountable. This can mean coming down hard on any instances of disrespect or discrimination and providing training or education to anyone struggling to meet these standards. This can also mean allowing people to fail from time to time and encouraging growth and learning to come from mistakes and misguided beliefs.
- Celebrate diversity: Recognise and celebrate the unique perspectives and experiences that each employee brings to the table. This can include cultural celebrations, diversity and inclusion events, and employee spotlights. Offering opportunities for team members to share their cultural practices in the workplace (if they want to) through the development of a cultural calendar can ensure that an equal level of importance is placed on every cultural holiday.
How can Reed Screening help?
Whatever the make-up of your team, when hiring it’s important to ensure that risk is minimised through thorough screening. With over 60 years of experience in recruitment, and over 9 years of experience as screening specialists, Reed Screening is ideally placed to advise your business on the best way to ensure that new hires are a boost to your company’s performance.