Apr 19, 2023 | General Interest

Business women discussing marketing strategy during meeting

How to Foster an Inclusive Workplace

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When you think about your organization or business, do you consider it to be inclusive? When you think of the business or organization you work for, is inclusivity something that is valued? If you had to think about this, or answered no, then keep reading. If you answered yes but feel like your workplace could benefit from further tips on how to foster inclusivity in the workplace, you should also continue reading. Creating an environment that is safe and welcoming is fundamental to success and is something that should certainly be taken seriously. 

What does inclusive mean? Merriam Webster defines it as the following: “including everyone especially: allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).” This means that individuals are given equitable treatment and receive the same respect as everyone else.   

So, what can you do to help create an environment that is inclusive? Let’s chat about some things you can consider in your business or organization. 

What is your company culture? 

Your company culture encompasses the understanding of diverse values, beliefs, backgrounds, religion, sexuality, mental health, neurodivergences, and respects and treats everyone fairly. When you have a positive company culture, your employees are much more likely to thrive, be productive, and it also ensures they know they are valued, seen, and heard. When you have an inclusive workplace, based on mutual respect and understanding, everyone wins. 

Use inclusive language 

It is important to recognize the importance of language. When you have a diverse group of people in a workplace, it is key to ensure that every individual feels accepted. Understand the need for inclusive language and encourage it at all levels in your organization. Remember, what is preferred language for one person, may not be the case for another. Therefore, create a space where employees are comfortable in having these conversations without judgment or fear.  

Communicate effectively 

Make it clear to your employees that communication is a significant value to your organization. When you create an environment where people feel listened to and safe, they are more likely to communicate their concerns with you. This makes it so you can better understand the situation and offer solutions when needed.  

When employees feel like they aren’t heard and don’t communicate issues within the workplace, this leads to difficult situations that could have been avoided. Create opportunities to check in with employees and allow all employees the space to express themselves. 

Offer diversity training 

Diversity training is a program designed to help facilitate interaction within a group, helps reduce prejudice and discrimination, and teaches people who differ from one another how they can work together effectively and collaboratively. Educating your employees, as well as yourself and leaders within your organization will help further solidify an inclusive workplace. 

Provide a safe workplace 

A safe workplace means that every person who walks through your doors will feel safe and taken care of. Being accommodating to individual needs, providing appropriate resources, and being open to the needs of others will ensure your workplace is welcoming to all. From creating accessible washrooms, to offering spaces for neurodivergent employees, a truly inclusive workplace will consider the comfort of each employee. 

Diversity in the workplace is key to success. The world is made of people of all different sizes, shapes, colours, beliefs, minds, and walks of life. How boring would it be if it weren’t?  

Be open and understanding, and you will foster a workplace that is inclusive for all. 

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