5 Steps for Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Creating an inclusive workplace has been an ongoing ideology for companies. One of the main challenges we have today is creating a diverse and inclusive environment in the workforce. However, it’s not impossible.

Many organizations have figured out how to work in diversity, but not inclusion, especially with newer roles like Chief Diversity Officer being implemented. Now, more than ever, any company that wants to realize its full potential of its employees should take action to create safe and inclusive work environments where everyone from women of color to workers with disabilities can achieve their full potential.

Here are five strategies businesses can use to create a more inclusive workplace.

Business Case for Inclusion

There are many reasons why workplaces have to change, but a significant one is that the U.S. is seeing a dramatic demographic change. However, companies are not necessarily reflecting these changes. When workplace teams reflect their target customers and the population around them, the entire company is more than likely to innovate for their end-users.

Recognize In-House Bias

Companies can take steps to allow everyone the same opportunity to grow within the business by developing a leadership program that not only puts high-potential employees on the management track but also targeting supervisors who select candidates. By taking bias out of training, supervisors can learn to recognize and control their inclinations to select candidates who are similar to themselves.

Provide Sponsorship Programs

Companies can create programs that accelerate the progress and development of those who need more inclusion in the workplace by pairing people with experienced sponsors. These sponsors help employees learn how to grow within the company from the start and provide regular meetings to check in on their development.

Practice Leadership in Inclusion

Leaders need to implement a safe team culture and environment where all employees can speak up and feel welcome regardless of their background. They should welcome employees’ input whose experiences differ from their own and foster teamwork among diverse staff members. Leaders should also facilitate constructive arguments, give actionable feedback, and know when to act upon diverse employees’ advice.

Focus on Accountability

Companies should ensure that inclusion is a core value of the organization. This can be done by tracking and reporting progress against the diversity and inclusion goals for each division. Leaders are held accountable with bonuses tied to goals, giving them more incentive to be active in inclusion.

If companies want to grow and thrive moving forward, it’s important to elevate diverse employees’ voices and eliminate conventional barriers hindering their success.

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