Ways to Make Your Organization More Inclusive and Diverse
Inclusion and diversity have become the cornerstones of any modern company as 4 out of every 5 employees prefer to work for inclusive organizations. Inclusive workspaces are welcoming and easy to adjust to, which influences the employees to choose to stay with them for the long haul.
Organizations with a mix of gender identities, abilities, and ethnicities are 20% more innovative owing to their employees’ diverse perspectives.
Unfortunately, most organizations are yet to incorporate these principles, and are, therefore, missing out on opportunities of reaping value from diverse perspectives. If your organization lacks in this department as well, consider diversifying your hiring pool to include people of various inclinations and abilities so that you can start reaping the rewards that come with having a more inclusive and diverse workforce.
Here are some ways you can transform your organization into a more diverse one:
- Arrange Inclusivity Workshops
Your staff needs to attend inclusivity workshops which will inform them on what an inclusive environment looks like. Targeting someone with unconscious racial, ableist, and even ageist slurs and biases is not uncommon in most workplaces.
Unless addressed appropriately, such biases can lead 1 in every 5 employees to leave work. Therefore, your workshop should include training on the use of appropriate office lingo, boundary setting or respecting someone else’s boundaries, communication dos and don’ts, and a discussion on prejudices.
Often disabled people avoid working with other employees because they’re excluded and are made to feel conscious of their disability when in teams. Many people don’t know how to talk to a disabled person in a professional capacity without sounding condescending or ableist.
If your employees really need an education in this regard, you can arrange for workshops with instructors who are equipped with an online special education degree in administration, who can impart some basic skills of how the employees and managers can go about dealing with differently-abled colleagues and team members.
- Make Your Workspaces More Accessible
Employees prefer buildings with an accessible layout over rigid and clustered cubicles that inhibit their creativity. As an employer, your gesture of acknowledging their different needs will not go unnoticed. In fact, going out of your way to meet their demands will cultivate a deeper bond between you and your workforce.
Work on transforming your workspace to include wider doorways facilitated with ramps that allow for easy wheelchair access. When it comes to the actual workspaces, they should promote an inter-departmental interaction, so projects can take birth organically from the communication on the floor.
You should also provide modified equipment and tools to workers with hearing impairments or with limiting conditions, such as arthritis, to help them get on with their work easily. Organizations should offer proper toilet facilities and non-gendered toilets on every floor, replete with supplies of the essential.
- Promote Equal Pay
The corporate sector is notorious for shortchanging employees of their wages. It’s possible that the employees may have faced discrimination before joining your company since most organizations still uphold the gendered pay gap.
Women earn 78 cents less than every dollar a man earns, and earnings for black women is even less. More than half of the employed men earn higher salaries and work in executive roles despite having the same experience and qualifications as their women coworkers.
Your workers should never feel ashamed about their identity. Paying wages on equity is a great way to ensure that the gendered pay gap is eliminated. You can create a database system that stores all your employee information and distributes their wages according to their work and qualification. This removes all biases and focuses on the employees’ capabilities.
- Celebrate More Holidays
Holidays from work can be effectively used to increase employee productivity. So, consider expanding your company’s holiday calendar. New Years’ Eve and Christmas Holidays are some of the common holidays that every organization has. Along with these, there should be holidays to commemorate special days of other religions, like Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, that include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Navrati, Ramadan, Muharram, and Eid.
- Hold Inclusive Company Events
Company events are a way for you and your employees to mingle and to get to know each other outside of work. This is a great way to celebrate inclusivity in your organization. Hold a pride-month celebration that let your LGBTQ employees and their allies express themselves. You may also arrange for a Black History Month with discussions and documentaries about the racial issues in the US.
While arranging food, make sure you have a mixture of kosher, halal, and vegan meals. This will ensure that everyone has a bite to eat and that they are not excluded from the arrangements. At the same time, let your employees dictate the kind of parties they’d be interested in.
- Allow Two-Way Feedback
Employees perform better at work when they get constructive feedback. You need to keep your employees in the loop about how their performance is affecting the business or how the operations are changing in real-time.
More than 70% of employees feel they would do better if their efforts were recognized. While discussing an employee’s progress, provide them with the right tools to excel. For example, offer the employees struggling with language issues training programs that will help them improve and communicate better.
Feedback is a two-way street. Your employees should have the liberty to discuss their roles with you. Make your employees comfortable enough that they can tell you about their problems at work. You should have an anti-harassment policy, and if anyone violates it, you should immediately fire them. Being open about communication will help you keep employees on the same page when it comes to your business goals, so all can work together for the improvement of the organization.
- Get Into the Habit of Using Neutral Pronouns
Non-binary employees, who don’t identify as either male or female, use gender-neutral pronouns to identify themselves. Using such pronouns when addressing a non-binary employee can help avoid appropriating wrong genders onto them and making them feel seen. More than 40% of the US workforce identifies as trans or non-binary, so you can’t overlook this major part of the workforce in your conversations anymore.
Therefore, make it your company’s standard to use neutral pronouns in email signatures and on business cards. For example, Jenna (she/her) or Stella (they/them). Caring for such little details represents your commitment toward gender neutrality and can go a long way in assuaging genderqueer and nonbinary employees’ concerns.
A diverse and inclusive workforce is a reality of the times we live in. Doing your part to make your organization feel more welcoming to the people who identify as non-binary, or differently-abled will be a step in the right direction. The above-mentioned tips, if implemented in their full, will make your organization more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant.