Diversity in the workplace should be a no brainer, especially in 2021 companies are embracing and valuing employees of different backgrounds as they reap the rewards in creativity and innovation with this, it brings a strong company culture as well as improved employee performance and so much more. But remember, diversity is not the same as inclusivity, think of it like this, inclusivity is the next step to successfully supporting a diverse workforce, creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and includes each employee. But for real change to happen, every individual
leader needs to buy into the value of belonging. Let’s look at how we can make our workplace a
more inclusive and diverse workforce.
Integrate inclusivity & diversity into the company Core Values
Your company most likely will have a set of core values that represent that company, but it’s time to revisit them, especially when there is major changes.
Gather feedback from your employees and ask for suggestions & feedback and with the additional data gathered this will help fill in a blanks you’ve missed!
If your core values do not already include a disclosure on inclusive culture, then its time to update and implement it. If the company vision and values are declared on the company website but has an absence of a defined strategy of how the company seeks to enable a truly inclusive environment, then it counts for nothing. There are many ways that a company can develop in the area of diversity and inclusion, without resorting to unsupported activities that will, in the end, harm your business brand. For you, as the leader of the company, it’s important to exhibit the principles of diversity, respect other cultures and lifestyles and that you take an interest in learning about
them! With this knowledge, you are now aware of how cultural differences affect behaviours.
Creating the right environment
By now, majority of companies have a understanding of where to begin when it comes to creating & delivering a diverse and inclusive work environment including through the hiring process.
It’s in the leadership’s hands to ensure the working environment is safe and welcoming for everyone involved, but also to take direct and decisive action when there’s evidence that this is not in practice.
Key tips to take away from making sure you are creating a welcoming environment is be open minded and to support and celebrate your employee’s each day.
Extend your Calendar
Sometimes the littlest things mean more, and for minority groups, even small instances of representation can make a difference.
Ways to represent this it to look at the company calendar, in addition to Christian and holidays like Christmas, New Year’s and Easter, be sure to include holidays that represent the religious beliefs of your company at large.
Example of this is, for Jewish employees, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are considered the major high holy days.
Muslim holidays include, Eid-al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, Ramadan & Muharram.
Hindus, add Diwali, and Navrati.
There are many religious holidays and this is important to take on-board your employees traditions.
However, sometimes it is not possible to make these a company wide holiday, the important thing to remember is to acknowledge them on the calendar as this will raise awareness and increase the sense of recognition and belonging among your employees.