An inclusive workplace is a working environment that promotes acceptance of diverse individuals with different values to make them feel integrated and included. It talks about creating a friendly atmosphere and discourages toxic fault-finding habits. This concept rejects the act of isolating individuals from the rest of the team. This way, each employee is given equal access to career progression.
An inclusive workplace is characterised by motivated individuals with enhanced productivity. Such a workplace enables co-operation and collaboration amongst co-workers. Inclusion is built on the root of belongingness amongst the employees where they feel accepted, respected. Such workplaces encourage equal participation by all employees. This makes the employees feel that their opinions and ideas matter and they feel comfortable to express themselves freely.
An inclusive culture in an organisation truly appreciates every employee’s unique contributions. Employees understand that their opinion counts in the organisation.
A company culture of inclusiveness and diversity can be evaluated by analyzing the levels of trust in the organisation. Workplace inclusion results in better relationships with employees, customers, along with increased financial performance.
Here is what you can do to facilitate an inclusive work culture in an organisation:
Define mission and value: The first step towards creating an inclusive working environment is defining its mission and value. An organisation needs to identify an environment and culture they want to offer to their employees. Assessing an inclusive culture needs both quantitative as well as qualitative information.
Acknowledge difference of opinion: To acknowledge and promote acceptance towards diversity, policies and practices should be set in place.
Create a flexible working environment: Management should provide an environment for employees to design and personalize their workplaces. It instils a sense of belonging amongst the employees.
Conduct diversity and inclusion training: Employee training, along with open conversations, can inculcate best practices in a workspace. It helps educate employees about cultural differences at workplaces and promotes cultural communication. Organizing such training programs can bring long term benefits to an organisation. It should be looked at as an investment rather than an expense.
Have an impartial Recruitment Process: The recruitment process should be bias-free. The hiring process should be conducted irrespective of age, gender, social background and physical disability.
Motivate employees: Employees can be motivated towards inclusion by organizing workshops and cultural events, and by providing equitable treatment.
Celebrate multicultural religious events: Respecting different religions and celebrating diverse religious events at the workplace help create awareness about diversity and foster inclusivity amongst employees.
Treat all employees equally: Equal treatment makes employees feel accepted and valued. It builds an equitable and positive environment with zero discrimination and harassment. Employees feel encouraged to speak up and share their ideas. Creating a respectful and trusting environment makes employees feel confident. Considering employee perspectives critically makes them feel satisfied and motivated, thereby contributing to organisational success.
Promote strengths-based culture: When employees are valued for their strength; it creates a culture of inclusion. Such an environment results in higher employee engagement, improved performance and retention of employees.
Bring thought into action: Assign an Inclusion Executive for coordinating and checking on how people behave with each other. This helps the outliers feel connected with larger groups and develop a more inclusive culture.
Bring open-door policy: An open-door policy plays a vital role in answering employee concerns and problems. Recurrent informal meetings with employees create a positive and constructive workplace. When employees perceive that their leaders trust and value them, they come out as highly satisfied individuals.
Write thank-you notes: Something so insignificant on the outside, such as writing a thank you note to each of the employees, can massively contribute to creating a positive workplace. Bring it on as a habit to do this quarterly or half-yearly to make your employees feel appreciated and honoured and strengthen their bond towards the organisation.
Employees who are working in an inclusive workplace experience appreciation and respect. They are recognised and valued for their unique traits as they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and views with transparency and confidence.
Creating an inclusive work environment is highly appreciated in the corporate sector. It not only reflects good on account of an organisation’s reputation but is also a significant factor impacting employee performance and organisational productivity. The happy and motivated work culture enables innovation by the workforce. Inclusiveness eliminates the toxicity from the working environment and fosters growth and expansion.
It helps an organisation to become more progressive and creates synergy. Inclusive work culture develops a bond amongst all employees and reduces competition. Inclusiveness also helps in increasing the goodwill of an organisation.