Encouraging inclusion and diversity leads to many business benefits. However, these can be hard to achieve. As a result, you need to take active steps to create a more inclusive workplace.
Unfortunately, many employers struggle to implement this kind of inclusion. As an example, look at how men and women perceive their workplaces. A study conducted by Culture Amp showed a gap between how comfortable men and women feel about sharing their professional opinions.
Just look at the data. Of men surveyed, 79% felt they could “voice a contrary opinion without fear of negative consequences.” The figure for women? Only 66%.
These numbers suggest a disconcerting trend. According to the figures, women feel constrained about speaking up at their workplaces. And this survey just took gender into account. Looking at the problem in a broader context, a non-inclusive workplace can stifle a host of voices.
Furthermore, organizations with high levels of diversity score better on innovation. A study published in the Harvard Business Review showed an increase in innovation for inclusive work environments. Specifically, the figures pointed to a 19% bump in innovation revenues for firms with above-average diversity.
The lesson is clear: start listening to your employees. All of them. With these perspectives, you can come up with new ideas and fresh ways of attacking the market. You’ll see increased employee engagement and achieve higher levels of team success.
What Does an Inclusive Workplace Look Like?
Now that we’ve shown that inclusion makes business sense, it’s time to create an inclusive workplace. But what does that entail?
First, it’s important to make a distinction. What’s the difference between inclusion and diversity? The two concepts are often used interchangeably. But they have slightly different meanings in a business setting.
Diversity relates to the people you have on staff. It describes demographics. In large part, it comes about as part of the hiring process.
Inclusion describes how people are treated once they join your organization. You don’t just want to hire diverse people. You want to encourage a range of diverse opinions and viewpoints. An inclusive workplace makes that possible.
An inclusive workplace will seek out contrary opinions. It will let team members provide feedback without fear of reprisals. Finally, the organization will promote a welcoming atmosphere that makes everyone feel as if they belong.
How to Create an Inclusive Workplace
Once you have an inclusive workplace, you’ll start to see the benefits of open communication. Your employees will engage at higher levels and will achieve better job satisfaction. This, in turn, should boost your retention rates and bolster your employee brand.
But how do you get to that point? Here are a few steps you can take to create an inclusive work environment:
- Recognize Your Employees’ Unique Qualities: Don’t treat your workers like numbers in an employee file. Realize that they are unique individuals with particular talents and interests.
- Foster a Collaborative Work Structure: Encourage your employees to collaborate with each other.
- Push for Two-Way Communication: Ask for feedback from your staff. You’ll get access to great ideas and your workers will be more open to constructive comments from you.
- Emphasize Transparency: Inclusion means involving your team in the overall company direction. Achieve this by maintaining transparent decision-making processes.
- Build Your Culture: Take steps to make inclusion part of your core culture.
- Provide Flexible Schedules: You open yourself up to a wider group of potential employees by giving leeway in scheduling.
Create a Team that Thrives on Inclusion
To reap the benefits of an inclusive culture, you need the right team in place. A top recruiter, like LaborMAX, can make this possible. With a diverse workforce and innovative talent, you’ll reach your highest levels of performance.
Contact LaborMAX Staffing today if you’re looking for a staffing agency in Visalia, CA, or any of our locations.