How to Foster an Inclusive Working Environment

How to Foster an Inclusive Working Environment

Inclusivity is defined by how successfully you support your diverse workforce. You want to create an environment that welcomes and values each employee. This increases innovation, engagement, and productivity throughout your organization. As a result, your bottom line goes up.

Implement any of the following methods to increase inclusivity at your company.

Get Buy-In from the C-Suite

The creation and promotion of inclusivity is a top-down process. Leadership needs to be trained on diversity and inclusivity. This creates a safe space for your leaders to ask potentially awkward or embarrassing questions before leading inclusivity initiatives for the rest of the company. Leadership then can set the proper tone and serve as a resource for inclusivity.

Make Inclusivity Part of Your Values

Revisit your company’s core values to ensure that inclusivity is one of them. Involve leadership in the drafting and implementation of a new statement if needed. Be sure to gather input from HR and all employees to gain buy-in at every level.

Use Inclusive Language

All professional communications should model inclusive language. For instance, learn and use the preferred pronouns for every employee in your company. Use “spouse” or “partner” to refer to an employee’s significant other. Also, monitor your language to avoid saying something hurtful. If you make a mistake, sincerely apologize and correct yourself. Learn to use the proper words going forward.

Encourage Frequent Check-Ins

Promote open communication with your employees. Show that they can privately express their needs and discuss the challenges they face. Offer support for your employees’ problems. Take action when needed. This encourages trust among your team.

Promote Safe Spaces

Create areas that provide privacy and safety at work. For instance, lactation rooms may benefit nursing mothers. Additionally, spaces for meditation or prayer may help employees relax or express their spiritual beliefs. Plus, quiet workspaces may benefit employees who get distracted or overstimulated by open floor plans.

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