How to Foster Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Workplace
The workplace should be somewhere where people feel safe, welcome, and part of a team. Indeed, you are going to be happy working at a business that fosters diversity and makes sure that there is inclusion in the office.
So, if you are a business owner, you need to focus on creating this type of environment for your employees. You cannot stop once you have recruited from a diverse talent stream. You must act and ensure they feel included once they are in the workplace.
Here are a few ways you can foster diversity and inclusion so that your brand succeeds.
1. Watch Your Language
When you are communicating with your team, you need to be more thoughtful about the language you are using. Namely, you have to ensure that it is inclusive of everyone. For instance, it is better to use gender-neutral names so that you can refer to everybody.
In addition, think about certain connotations or stereotypes that are attached to certain words. You want to avoid using them if you think they could be divisive and offensive to someone on the team. Thankfully, there are guides online that can help you with inclusive language.
2. Allow Everyone to Speak
Think about when you are holding a team meeting. Do you find that it is the same people talking and getting their ideas out there?
Indeed, there are always going to be some outspoken people in a group. But, you should allow everyone time to speak in case there are people holding back because they are uncomfortable.
There is no doubt that fostering diversity & inclusion in the workplace can be difficult and a transition. But, with some learning and time, you can make a real difference for your team. start with allowing everyone to have their say in meetings. The last thing you want is for someone to feel marginalized in the workplace.
3. Welcome Feedback
Remember that it is important that you are not dictating what the workplace feels like. In other words, if you want it to really be inclusive, you need to see how your team feels individually. To do this, make sure that you welcome regular feedback from your employees.
Allow them their time to speak and discuss things that concern them. This is not an insult. Instead, it is an opportunity to learn, grow and change. Once you know something that you are doing wrong, you can work on changing things for the better.
4. Note Your Prejudices and Learn
Depending on your upbringing, you may have some of your own prejudices that you are working through. Perhaps you even have an unconscious bias that you are not aware of.
There are a lot of educational tools online you can use to identify your prejudice and work through it. If you really want to foster diversity and work on inclusivity, you need to understand how to work through your own behaviors and lead from the front.
This way, you can set an example and know what you can achieve together.