Though compared to 10 years ago, we’ve come on leaps and bounds when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, there’s still work to be done. And the best place to start is by understanding what diversity and inclusion really means. 

Think of diversity as the “what”.

Diversity is the mix of people you have – gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation to name a few.

Now think of inclusion as the “how”.

Inclusion is how your culture makes people feel – confident and comfortable being themselves.

Inclusion is SO important

Because inclusion is what gives diversity impact….

It helps move us closer towards a genuinely fair and unbiased workplace where everyone has the same empowerment and opportunity to thrive and succeed at work. And ultimately, be happy – the most important thing.

The benefits of creating an inclusive workplace…

Creating an inclusive workplace not only benefits your employees, but it has a massive impact on you and your business.

Here are just some of the benefits that creating an inclusive workplace provides:

  1. Employees feel happier and have higher job satisfaction
  2. Reduced recruitment costs because staff don’t want to leave
  3. Higher productivity because your team feel motivated knowing that their work is appreciated
  4. Improved creativity and innovation because people aren’t scared to think
  5. Problems are taken away from you because people feel empowered to take action and problem solve
  6. Everyone’s happier. Better employees, better business, better you.

Figuring out how inclusive your workplace really is…

Measuring inclusivity is a little bit tricky, because there are so many things you need to think about. Which is why it can be best to work with a HR consultant, as they’ll know exactly what to do.

Typically, there are 5 steps when it comes to measuring inclusivity.

  • Step 1: Think about what you want to find out about your business and how you’ll use these findings
  • Step 2: Complete an employee survey
  • Step 3: Create an action plan based on your findings
  • Step 4: Put plan into action and offer team training
  • Step 5: Review and monitor the changes

Conducting an employee survey is typically the best way to research and measure inclusivity.

However, there are other ways to measure inclusion, just so that you’re aware. And it’s important that you consider the different ways that your employees might like to give you feedback… It can be a sensitive topic for some people after all. Invite feedback in all forms – email, survey, face-to-face, video call. You could even offer anonymous feedback from if you think it would give you a more honest response. You might also consider holding focus groups or feedback sessions with randomly selected members of your team. Find out their opinions on your company practices, policies and norms. Invite them to speak openly and candidly, and explain that honesty is actively welcomed.

Again, an HR consultant will advise you on the best way to conduct this research, depending on the nature of your business and employees. And will help you understand your employees’ answers, turn the data into tangible actions for you, and will offer advice on what you could do to improve.

How to make your business more inclusive… 

  • Make job descriptions gender neutral
  • Improve your policies to ensure they are inclusive
  • Provide training for all staff on equality, diversity and inclusion so they know the difference
  • Have zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Blind screen CVs by taking the names off before you review them
  • If you celebrate holidays, make sure you celebrate all holidays that are recognised by your team
  • Recognise your staff when they go above and beyond
  • Implement flexible working arrangements where possible
  • Review your parental leave policy to include non-traditional families
  • Create a menopause policy to support employees who may need it

Hopefully this guide will help you make a start on creating the most inclusive business possible.

It’s not always an easy task, but the sooner you tackle the issue with your team, the easier it is to have open and honest communication. And that’s one of the most important steps when making positive improvements in your business.

If you need a hand with any of this, or anything else when it comes to the people and practices in your business, we’d love to help – so get in touch now