The more diversity you bring to your team, the greater your chances of finding groundbreaking insights and solutions. Company leaders and Employees together can build inclusive environment and inspire new ways to engage, collaborate and step out their usual teams.
Hence challenge lies in having a culture where all employees feel included as creating a culture where people are respected and appreciated requires another level of effort that need investment ,which is yet to be considered by organization. Let us go through four practical strategies for creating an inclusive work environment.
1. Encouragement from leaders
Organizational leaders play an important role in setting the tone for the shift towards increased diversity and inclusiveness in an organization. Organization’s executives and managers are always instrumental in building inclusive environment in an organization, as its experience of leaders which will be creating things that is going to make or break your initiatives and strategies. A training for all the levels is must so as to understand what inclusion is all about and why it is important to foster it in the company. Hence bosses at every level undergoing training in unconscious bias, which is bound to occur when individual leaders make judgment about people based on gender, race or other factors without realizing they are actually doing in it in real terms.
The training helps make people aware of this form of bias and drives importance of modeling inclusive behavior like engaging in active listening and encouraging different points of views in meetings performance reviews and other interactions. Open, effective communication, as well as clear channels for feedback optimizes the opportunity for discussion of issues related to inclusion and discrimination. Every organization starts from a different place and in a unique context, but all have room for improvement
2. Embrace diversity in the workplace
- • Learn about the cultural backgrounds, lives and interests of employees outside of the workplace. Building relationships through increased understanding and trust helps to foster inclusion.
- • Include opportunities for staff to interact in settings outside of work so that employees feel more comfortable. Be creative, flexible and look for new ways of doing things.
- • Ensure all employees have the opportunity to take part in decision-making and planning for social activities
- • Be aware of, and provide time off for, culturally significant events and holy days. Consider offering a float day for employees to use at their discretion to observe such events or days.
- • Permit flexible schedules so that employees who observe religious practices can arrange their schedules around their beliefs.
- • Acknowledge all faiths present in your workplace.
3. Celebrate Employee differences
When individuals feel that they cannot be themselves at work, they will not engage fully as part of the team or in assigned work. Closed environment can significantly impact an individual’s involvement in the organization, potentially resulting in low staff morale, increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and retention difficulties. An educational approach can help to negate many fears that people have when it comes to addressing diversity. Both managers and employees fear that they may say the wrong thing, be perceived as discriminatory or be stifled by rigid rules of political correctness. Employees need to know that while there are standards and expectations for appropriate behavior in the workplace, a focus on diversity isn’t about being perfect. Diversity and inclusion is best nurtured in an open workplace where mistakes can be used for learning not for embarrassing or shaming individuals.
4. Need for listening Employees voice
Organization needs to model inclusive behaviors by establishing processes that foster trust and respect and address at inappropriate behavior by taking action if issues of disrespect occur. Leaders need to recognize potential biases by considering individual or teams’ automatic thinking or unintentional biases in communications, activities, and development. Hence help in connect each team member with positivity and purpose in their daily work for creating a culture of purpose.
Leaders needs to ask their colleagues and team members about themselves and their goals with a genuine desire to learn about them on a personal and professional level.Focus on what is important to the team and ensure that all members feel involved and are able to contribute by inviting participation, exploring ideas and modeling dialogue during meetings. Recognize and promote individuals’ skills, abilities, and experiences, then bring them to the attention of others. Identify opportunities to gain exposure to ideas, images, and words that challenge negative stereotypes.
The more diversity you bring to your team, the greater your chances of finding groundbreaking insights and solutions. Hence when embracing uniqueness we need to explore ideas and solutions, seek out the feedback and perspectives of colleagues and clients with different experiences, backgrounds, and expectations. We can enhance sociability , by lessening the potential for social isolation by offering opportunities that foster belonging , collaboration and engagement.