According to Forbes, "diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice." As employers, it is important that we work to create an inclusive workplace culture that promotes diversity and belonging. Whether your team works remotely, in the office, or in a hybrid work model, we encourage you to read through these seven tips on how to make your company culture more inclusive for all!
Educate and train leadership on the importance of DEI.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) encompass so much more than just race and gender. It includes, but is not limited to, things like age, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability status, and veteran status. As employers, it is important that we educate ourselves on the various forms of diversity in order to create an inclusive culture for all.
Strong business leaders take the time to learn about diversity and inclusion so they can lead by example. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the U.S. Department of Labor's list of resources.
Create a DEI Policy
The first step to creating an inclusive workplace is to develop a clear policy on diversity and inclusion. This will help set the tone for your employees and ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page.
Your business should have a clear, no-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment. This will help to ensure that all employees feel safe and comfortable in the workplace.
Form employee resource groups with similar backgrounds or interests.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. ERGs can be a great way to connect employees who share similar backgrounds or experiences. Not only do they allow employees to feel a sense of belonging in the workplace, but they also provide valuable insights to leadership on how to make the workplace more inclusive for all.
If you’re not sure where to start, create a free account with the SHRM for more in-depth resources.
Listen to requests from employees and make changes accordingly.
Your employees are the best source of information when it comes to making your workplace more inclusive. If they’re asking for things like safe spaces, increased training, or mentorship programs, try to accommodate their requests when possible. Not only will this make your employees feel supported, but it will also show that you’re invested in creating a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusion.
Schedule monthly or quarterly meetings with your employees to discuss how the workplace can be improved. This is also a great time to get feedback on any DEI initiatives you may have implemented.
Offer sponsorship and mentorship programs for underprivileged employees.
Sponsorship and mentorship programs are a great way to support underprivileged employees in the workplace. These programs pair employees with someone who can help them navigate the workplace and provide guidance on how to advance their careers.
Not only do these programs provide valuable support for employees, but they also help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace by ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities.
Use inclusive language in your workplace.
The language we use in the workplace can often unintentionally exclude certain groups of people and create a toxic workplace culture.
Try to be aware of the harmful language you’re using in the workplace and make an effort to use an inclusive tone whenever possible. This small change can make a big difference in creating an inclusive environment that is welcoming for everyone.
Include neurodiversity in your DEI initiatives.
Neurodivergent people, who think and process information in unique ways, are part of a workforce that includes people with varied backgrounds and experiences, which improves creativity, innovation, and problem solving.
An organization that includes a workforce of people with diverse backgrounds, mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among others can thrive. These people, who include autistic individuals, people with ADHD and other mental health issues, and people with learning disabilities, are neurodivergent.
Neurodiversity is often left out of DEI initiatives, but it’s important to remember that neurodiverse individuals are an important part of the workforce.
There are many ways to support neurodiverse employees in the workplace. Some companies choose to provide training for managers on how to best support neurodiverse employees. Others create resource groups so employees can connect with others who share similar experiences.
Increase your focus on diverse recruiting strategies.
One of the best ways to promote diversity in the workplace is to make sure you’re recruiting a diverse pool of candidates. This can be done by reaching out to underprivileged groups, attending job fairs focused on diversity, and using inclusive language in your job descriptions.
Some companies also choose to set hiring goals to ensure they are making progress on DEI initiatives. For example, Google has a goal to double Black+ representation by 2025.
Our recruiters at firstPRO can help your company set diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring goals and recruit a diverse in the coming years. Contact Us today to get started.
No matter what steps you take, remember that inclusion is key to creating a workplace that values diversity and belonging. By following these tips, you can begin to create an inclusive company culture, but you shouldn't stop here! Check out some more of the resources that we mentioned to learn more.
For more tips from our recruiters on how to make your workplace comfortable for all employees, read our blog post The Return to In-Office Work: Benefits and Advice for Employers Making the Transition.