Tips for Creating A Safe And Inclusive Workplace For All
by Arnab Dey Business Development 21 March 2023
Creating a safe and inclusive workplace is crucial for employees to feel valued and respected.
This type of environment is not only great for productivity, but many aspects of it are required by law. It’s essential to have a workplace where everyone feels welcome and included, regardless of their race, sex, gender, religion, or any other personal characteristics. For employers, curating and maintaining this type of environment can be challenging, but once employees buy into it everyone will benefit.
Define Inclusion and Diversity
Diversity refers to the different backgrounds, upbringings, experiences, and characteristics that employees bring into the workplace. On the other hand, inclusion refers to creating a culture that places value on and respects those differences.
An inclusive workplace is an environment where employees feel welcomed and accepted for who they are. Businesses that are serious about creating a safe and inclusive workspace should consider integrating these aspects into the company’s core values.
Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
Creating a safe and inclusive workplace comes with many benefits. A study by Forbes has shown that companies ranking high in gender diversity outrank the competition by 15%. The study further revealed that ethnically diverse companies outperform competitors by 35%.
Companies that emphasize diversity are easier able to hire top talent and experience greater innovation. Diversity and inclusion are key to success, but employers also have a legal obligation to foster this environment as well. To learn more about the employer’s obligation to prevent workplace discrimination, click here.
Be Inclusive When Hiring Talent
Building an inclusive environment has to start from the top. The company’s leadership must have the desire to build a diverse culture and hire people who come from a variety of different backgrounds. Leadership setting an explicit goal to increase diversity is a great initiative for change. Establishing inclusivity as a pillar of workplace culture, will challenge the company to break out of its hiring comfort zone and recruit employees that may not have been in consideration before.
Here are a couple of tips to achieve this goal:
- Encourage diverse employees to refer from their network.
- Use blind resumes.
- Change the wording in job listings to more inclusive language.
- Broaden your reach of candidates by using a variety of platforms and tools.
- Train hiring managers to identify unconscious bias.
Train Employees to Support the Company’s Goals
It’s essential for employees to buy into the creation of a safe and inclusive environment as well. Help employees understand the importance of diversity, inclusion, and creating a safe space. Employers can provide training on topics such as unconscious bias, cultural competency, and communication skills. It’s recommended that this training should be completed every two years.
Encourage Open Communication
Open communication is essential to creating a safe and inclusive environment. Employers should encourage open communication by creating a culture where employees can comfortably share their thoughts, and ideas, and provide feedback.
This can be formally encouraged by providing many opportunities for communication such as team meetings, feedback sessions, suggestion boxes, and acknowledging and appreciating input. Informal opportunities for conversation are just as important as formal ones. The authenticity of company lunches, holiday events, and happy hours is a great way for businesses to encourage open communication too.
Revise the Company Holiday Calendar
Expanding the company holiday calendar to be more inclusive is an important step to help minority groups feel more represented. Recognizing and acknowledging the diversity of employees’ religious and cultural backgrounds is essential to making everyone feel welcome and included.
Employers should strive toward offering a diverse range of holidays that adequately represent the religious and cultural backgrounds of their employees. To accomplish this, employers can conduct an anonymous survey to understand which holidays are important to their employees so they can be integrated into the company’s holiday calendar.
An Ongoing Process
Creating a safe and inclusive workplace is an ongoing process that requires intentional efforts by the employer and employees. Leadership can encourage diversity and inclusion by hiring diverse talent, training employees, and promoting open communication.
Research has shown that businesses that embrace this type of environment will experience numerous tangible and intangible benefits. Developing a safe and inclusive environment takes time and effort but will prove to be a competitive advantage for any organization.