Inclusion and diversity are two of the most important things when it comes to the workplace. In fact, when you look at the reasons the Great Resignation is happening, lack of inclusion and diversity within organizations is a big factor. People want to work for an organization where they can make an impact and be a part of something. This sense of belonging is critical to employee retention.
Inclusion and diversity can always be improved, and it’s something businesses should always be strategizing on from both cultural and retention perspectives. Nobody wants to work somewhere where they don’t feel respected or included, whatever the reason for it may be. Let’s look at some tips for managing and ensuring inclusion and diversity are happening in the workplace.
Diversity Vs. Inclusion
To start, it’s important to keep in mind that diversity and inclusion are not the same. Inclusion is the step that follows to support diversity in the workplace. They go hand in hand but are separate things to work on. You cannot, however, have inclusion without diversity.
Think about it this way. Diversity is when you select people of different talents and skills. Inclusion is when you make sure all their voices are valued and heard and that they’re a critical part of the team. There are several ways to ensure this is actively happening in the workplace.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, education is extremely important. Having training courses in place ensures your employees are aware of your policies and how to act in the workplace. From day one inclusive behavior should be promoted throughout the workplace, even if employees are working remotely. Education shouldn’t only happen on day one, either.
It needs to be an ongoing practice.
Listen to Feedback
There is no better way to figure out how your employees feel than to listen to what they have to say. This doesn’t always have to be a face-to-face open forum. You can create surveys and focus groups to get employee feedback. You should also be collecting data on your demographics to manage inclusion and diversity and compare to the feedback you’re getting internally.
Acknowledge Every Holiday
Another way to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace is to be aware of and acknowledge all religious and cultural holidays. Some companies give extra days of PTO to account for holidays that might not be on their main calendar, but the best thing to do is educate yourself and the company on every single one. If one falls on a workday, be sure to acknowledge it and ask what everyone’s plans are if they chose to work.
Look Over Your Policies
If you are working for a company that has been in business for a long time, there may be some outdated policies regarding diversity. It’s important to regularly update and maintain employee handbooks, policies, and procedures to be as up-to-date as possible.
This is merely a short list of ways to manage diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Listen to your employees, keep educating yourself and your teams. Learning never ends.
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