Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform other organizations and drive more innovative results. Benefits of diversity include higher revenue, better decision making, higher rate of job acceptance, and better performance.
There are many initiatives that can make the workplace more inclusive.
- Management should portray diversity and inclusion: Firstly, there should be diversity among the management of the organization. When management shows diversity and inclusion in their team, employees will feel motivated and adopt similar practices. Management should value their colleagues’ viewpoints and encourage open and safe environment. When employees see this, they will understand the importance of diversity and will get the confidence to speak their mind.
- Honour different religious and cultural practices: Organizations should encourage different cultural practices. Should provide flexible working hours so that people can get involved in their cultural practices. Companies should provide floating holidays to accommodate the religious and cultural preferences of all employees.
- Create a culture where each voice is valued and heard: It is important to create a culture where each thought is respected. When employees feel that their unique and authentic self is being appreciated, they feel connected to the organization. Employees should feel free to express themselves and should not have a threat of being judged or getting embarrassed. Each employee irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, physical conditions, religion, cultural background, etc should be provided with equal opportunity for everything. The freedom of expression empowers employees and organizations to listen different views and embrace diversity.
- Have an open discussion on issues like gender pay inequality: Employees trust is built around company’s transparency in policies and how clearly, they communicate it. Employees should know all the policies in its true sense and should be provided with an opportunity to give their opinions and put their concerns in front of everyone.
- Create a culture of diverse thinking: Encouraging and embracing diverse thinking is beneficial in generating new and innovative ideas. Providing feedback at the same time helps to get different perspectives on multiple things. This leads to creating an environment where everyone feels important and part of the shared mission.
- Have a multigenerational workforce: To create a diverse and inclusive workforce it is important to have different generations. Each generation has something to offer to another generation. Younger generation can help older generation with technology and tools. Older generation can help younger generation with decision making.
- Work towards implementing anti-discriminatory policies: Management should take good efforts to implement anti-discriminatory policies at the organization. There should be a commitment from the management to ensure that strict action is taken against the discriminatory behavior.
- Make inclusive workspaces: It is important to have gender-friendly washrooms. Have washrooms for all genders or have gender free washroom.
- Remove bias from promotion opportunities: Most of the times, leaders unconsciously get biased against some employees based on their cultural background, age, gender etc. This can hinder the growth of deserved candidates. Leaders have to be cautious while making any decisions. Keep a metric is which from bias and is based on performance and impact.