Doing The Good Work Inclusivity Tips
Inclusivity brings trust and respect to the workplace. Inclusivity creates a sense of belonging, which I would argue, is essential to professional buy in. Inclusivity makes organizations available to larger markets and audiences. It also helps employees feel welcomed in the workplace. On the other hand, there's lots of research that proves that derogatory slurs and stereotypical behaviors contribute to an unwelcoming and disrespectful workplace environment. There’s research that shows how these type of environments distract from meeting organizational goals and achieving success. So to avoid that, here’s some tips to inclusivity in the workplace.
Bring ALL Employees To The Table To Make Decisions: People work harder when they have stake in the organization. This is just not about stock in a company, but actual say so in decisions and direction of the organization. Ensuring that everyone is heard makes it safe to propose ideas and share credit for organizational success. Providing critical information to everyone is essential to sustaining organizational success. Give people the opportunity to make a difference in the workplace and you will find more ways to be inclusive of them.
Commit To Diversity & Inclusion Training: Many organizations have a “diversity statement” or “commitment to diversity” statement that say they do diversity and inclusion well. Yet, there’s no on-boarding training for new hires, no annual training on any topics, and there’s a lack of understanding how diversity and inclusion plays a role in the work. What are you doing to learn about other cultures, specifically underrepresented cultures? Some organizations need more than just one training a year to develop a deeper connection to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Think about it this way, the technology profession, medical profession, engineering profession, and many other professions have to stay up to date with current practices and research. If they used information and procedures from the 80’s, 90’s, and even 2000’s, they would be horribly behind. If your organization is using old diversity and inclusion practices, they are also horribly behind on current leadership practices and professional development.
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Create A Multicultural Work Environment Over A Monocultural Work Environment: Diversity in perspective drives creativity and innovation to new heights! Research says that the most successful organizations hire, train, and promote diverse perspectives and people. A multicultural work environment allows for leaders to give feedback that can be heard because it is considered constructive. Ensuring that we allow people to make mistakes is also critical to creating a multicultural environment. When a new person is hired, they are entering a new work culture. It may take a full year to understand every policy, protocol, practice, and unwritten cultural rule. Allowing people who come from different cultures and communities to make mistakes helps to create an environment where everyone can learn from each other.
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Keep Negative Personal Beliefs About Others To Yourself: Positive energy is essential to creating inclusive spaces. All it takes to begin being inclusive is the desire to make others feel comfortable and respected around you. If you try to be a good person, to all people in all spaces, you’ll find the right words to say and behaviors to exude. When negative personal beliefs enter the workplace or leadership positions, it clouds the opportunity to do good for others. When we aren’t aware or concerned about how our words and behaviors affect others, we automatically become exclusive and unwelcoming. Personal beliefs can create bias, which can also distract from creating inclusive spaces. When organizations value similar and like minded individuals, biases become practices for hiring and promotion. Resulting in only like-minded individuals climbing the organizational ladder.
Build Authentic Relationships with Others: When others feel like they can be themselves around you, it opens doors for deeper level connections and rich cultural partnerships and alliances. When people feel like they can be who they are, buy in for new initiatives become easier. People welcome the opportunity to go the extra mile because their identities are connected to the organization’s work, goals, and achievements.