Diversity and inclusion have assumed a dominant place in company cultures across a range of industries. While the social importance of these initiatives is obvious, their influence on business itself may not be as apparent. However, diversity and inclusion have a profound effect on both companies and their employees. A positive workplace culture fosters innovation, encourages creativity, and stimulates empathy and connection.
5 Tips for Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture
An inclusive workplace doesn’t happen overnight or on its own. It requires planning and effort and should include all of the company’s employees at every level. The following strategies can help you develop a diverse and inclusive workplace.
1. Improving Communication
From casual peer conversations to organized inclusivity discussions, communication is perhaps the most essential element of any diverse and inclusive workplace. Management needs to lead the way, addressing diversity and inclusion issues specific to the workplace, as well as in general. Regularly check on your employees’ well-being, whether through direct meetings or through casual conversation.
Encourage your employees to communicate with each other and with you about issues they are having or concerns they are dealing with. Ensure there are multiple ways for them to reach out in comfort and safety.
2. Promoting Psychological Safety
True inclusion in the workplace establishes a safe environment for employees to share ideas and ask for help. Management team members are responsible for leading the way on this strategy as well, beginning with fostering self-awareness and respect for others. Take the time to get to know your employees and encourage employees to get to know each other. Encourage constructive criticism and treat errors as a learning experience and an opportunity for change.
3. High-Quality Collaborate
When you prioritize collaboration, all your employees feel confident in having a voice. Being heard and seen is a strong motivator for success, encouraging individual employees to deliver their best work and work together, recognizing one another’s strengths. Encourage the free exchange of knowledge, ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, give and receive constructive feedback, and celebrate individual and group achievements together to improve collaboration.
4. Balanced Strategic Alignment
Diverse, successful companies pursue goals that benefit the company and the employees. This positive direction begins with balanced teams that are strategically aligned based on their values and purpose. Discuss the direction and purpose of the team and organization frequently so that those shared goals are always focused and at the forefront.
5. Opportunities for Growth
Career development has become a top priority for workers, especially for those in previously marginalized groups. Creating opportunities for growth and advancement within the company that are available to all, and encouraging diverse employees to pursue them, ensures that your workforce grows more diverse and inclusive and that future generations will have strong, accomplished leaders to look up to.