Diversity and inclusion are an integral part of work today. Many times, the two terms are used interchangeably, but they’re distinctly different.
While you can certainly hire a diverse team, inclusion will enable you to retain diversity. Inclusion means that a diverse pool of employees is respected and valued in a work environment that allows them to reach their full potential.
In other words, inclusion is the necessary foundation that enables diversity.
And this brings us to the question: how can you create an inclusive workplace to hire and retain talent?
Here are Legacy’s 5 best pieces of advice.
Diversity and inclusion start from the top. For your company to be truly inclusive, leaders and managers need to be committed to the change and be the trailblazers your team needs.
There is no doubt that deep-rooted biases are difficult to identify and overcome. Diversity and inclusion training can help leaders develop the right skills to build a more inclusive work culture and overcome unconscious biases.
Have you tried to connect with your employees authentically and build trust? One of the most important aspects of an inclusive environment for an employee is feeling that they can speak without being judged.
Keep in mind that these conversations can be challenging, especially if your team is based remotely. You need to be prepared to stand by your beliefs without being close-minded.
Are you open to hearing different opinions? An important part of having genuine conversations with your employees is being open-minded.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to avoid assumptions about people’s beliefs or lifestyles, but you should make an effort to have genuine conversations with your employees. Let them open up to you so that they can feel part of a welcoming work environment.
A great way to show employees that you respect their backgrounds and traditions is to invite them to share them with the rest of the team. Sharing information about their backgrounds will help employees to learn more about each other and strengthen their relationships.
You can create a shared calendar and ask your employees to add festivities to the calendar that are important to them. When appropriate, you could even try to organise small celebrations at the office.
A successful meeting is one where everyone feels they can participate and share their opinion without being put down or judged.
It’s a good idea to create a plan for each meeting and share it with the participants beforehand. That would be useful for all employees, including introverts and employees for whom English is a second language, as they’ll have more time to properly prepare themselves.