Workplace environmentsare dynamically changing today. Organizations and their clientele are expanding worldwide, resulting in interactions between people from diverse backgrounds. Diverse and inclusive companies attract top talent and drive innovative results. A diverse and inclusive workplace ensures deeper trust and higher commitment from employees. Companies reap the rewards of creativity, innovation, and a strong and healthy company culture when they embrace diversity and inclusion.
Why is an organization’s culture important?
The collection of values, expectations, and practices followed by the employees shape an organization’s culture. It is the collection of all the traits which define your organization. The organizational culture affects and speaks for the business and its employees. A healthy and positive culture makes employees feel supported and valued and boosts business growth. According to a Deloitte survey, inclusive workplaces are six times more likely to be innovative, and companies generate 2.3 times more cash flow per employee when compared to a non-inclusive workplace.
What are diversity and inclusion?
Diversityand inclusion are a set of policies and strategies an organization adopts to foster a diverse pool of talent from various social and cultural backgrounds. Diversity in a workplace refers to the unique characteristics of each individual, like gender, race, culture, ethnicity, geographical location, physical abilities, etc. Inclusion is termed as the quality of a workplace where individuals from diverse backgrounds are given equal access and opportunities to contribute to the organization’s success. All individuals are treated fairly and respectfully.
How are diversity and inclusion different?
Diversityis a globally accepted concept that brings together different people from varying social and cultural backgrounds. Inclusion includes strategies and methods to make such diversity work cohesively. These terms are thus complementary and depend on each other. A diverse workforce needs to be inclusive, where all employees from varying backgrounds are given equal opportunities.
7 steps to create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture
1. Engage people in leadership positions
The organization must educate people in leadership positions about diversity and inclusion in detail. Diversity and inclusion training can be provided to its C-Level executives.
2. Establish a sense of belonging for everyone
A sense of belonging and engagement must be established for all employees from the top to the bottom of the ladder. Integrating an inclusive workforce culture into the core values of the company often brings in a positive change.
3. Focus on helping individuals thrive in the workforce
The workforce culture should encourage individuals to contribute to their full potential, instead of optimizing the hiring of people who ‘fit’ in the norms of the company.
4. Rework the company holiday calendar
The company can include holidays that represent all major festivities of minority groups. Instead of a company-wide holiday, these minority groups can also be acknowledged for that day which can give them a sense of recognition.
5. Create events and initiatives to improve inclusion
Work events that celebrate inclusion are great for fostering team-building and increasing team morale. Organizing volunteering days and fundraisers for a social cause are effective for team bonding.
6. Make the workplace wheelchair-accessible
The workplace has to ensure seamless mobility for wheelchairs. This means excluding all mobility obstacles, uneven flooring, and accessible washrooms for convenience. Workplaces need to ensure that employees with disabilities are given the ease of access and equal opportunities.
7. Diversity and inclusion training
Employees and leadership must be trained to spread awareness about working with people from various religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. These sessions enhance the connection and communication between all employees. An inclusive workforce embraces and celebrates a rich talent pool from various cultural backgrounds. Building a diverse and inclusive workforce sustains a company’s overall growth, development, and public goodwill.