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How to build an inclusive workplace?

2 min read

May 06, 2020

How to build an inclusive workplace?

Over the years, companies have created a culture in which people are respected and appreciated. Having a diversity and inclusion strategy, more than beneficial for any company, generates potential to acquire new talent, with new perspectives, origins and experiences, increasing the company's capacity to produce and innovate. 

Encouraging diversity in the workplace also demonstrates a solid culture, where all employees feel included. The multiplicity ways of thinking, respect, and cooperation in the workplace improve and increase the results, which means the retention rate of the companies also rises.

The challenge starts when companies define a practical strategy for creating a diverse and inclusive environment. 

The leaders

To get companies moving in the right direction it’s crucial to educate the leaders - they will be instrumental. Leaders have the ability to demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and, importantly, to be responsible for the environment in their respective departments. Leaders need to be purposeful about including others who see things differently from them, which will, in turn, help them better identify their own unconscious bias in the workplace. 

The focus should be on continuously highlighting the different, positive experiences that people from all backgrounds, identities, faiths, and orientations bring to the company.

The council

Fortunately, as awareness of this problem increases, many companies choose to have a council. Ideally, councils must be involved in goal setting around hiring, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce. Also, they should address any employee engagement problems. 

Most councils meet quarterly to review organizational feedback, troubleshoot challenges, and, most importantly, carry messages about their work to their senior peers.

Formal gratitude 

Show formal gratitude can be a powerful tool for mitigating unconscious bias. It not only amplifies appreciation across an organization, but it provides managers with hard data on who’s being most frequently recognized – and who is not. By measuring recognition moments and analysing the data, employers can hold a mirror to their recognition practices.

Mingling

Finally, it’s important to encourage a workplace culture of inclusivity by making opportunities for employees to mingle with each other. This could take a formal structure, like town hall meetings. But don’t underestimate the authenticity of a casual setting like company-wide lunches, happy hours, volunteer days, or cross-team activities.

 

Thinking of diversity and inclusion is the step to have a successfully supporting and a diverse workforce: It’s all about creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and includes each employee.


Filipa Oliveira
Filipa Oliveira
Head of Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development