While many companies are increasingly focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the last few years, there is still much opportunity for improvement. Diverse teams enhance employee productivity, engagement, and problem-solving abilities since diverse perspectives approach challenges in novel ways.
As many businesses continue to confront business continuity and recovery challenges, diversity and inclusion have slipped as a strategic priority. Employees are more dispersed, with some working remotely and others returning to physical office workspaces. These new working arrangements may exacerbate existing diversity issues and draw attention to any unconscious biases. A dispersed workforce can isolate people and teams from one another, undermining efforts and steps to promote inclusivity and diversity in the traditional workplace.
Here are some initiatives leaders can take to build an inclusive workplace culture.
Accountability is Crucial
When it comes to promoting workplace diversity and inclusion, accountability is crucial. Employees at all levels must take responsibility for developing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace. This means that diversity and inclusion must be viewed as an intrinsic component of a company’s business plan, not just an HR or Public Relations initiative.
Leaders must set an example by promoting diversity and inclusion in their teams and throughout the organization. Real change will only be achievable if concrete measures are taken to embed diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the enterprise.
Create a Strategic Training Plan
Employees that receive diversity training learn how cultural differences can affect how people interact at work. It might range from conflict resolution and communication techniques to time conceptions and self-identity.
It is crucial to focus on training relevant to the company and its employees and connect with their wider diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and issues. In addition to utilizing internal resources, collaborating with a consultant can help leaders develop tailored training programs for the entire organization and specialized functions.
Leaders must clearly communicate why training is taking place, the problems they are trying to address, and what will happen next. This will help employees stay engaged and understand how the lessons relate to the company’s overall goals.
Encourage Continuous Feedback
Companies can encourage employees to provide feedback to understand better what is happening under the surface. Surveying the workforce will provide leaders with the knowledge to make better decisions and reduce or eradicate any patterns of discrimination or biases within a specific branch or department of the company, for instance. An anonymous employee survey can help take immediate action on smaller, more pressing concerns while also informing long-term objectives. Employees can use engagement and check-in tools to foster conversations and transparently share how they’re feeling, which managers must encourage and support.
Evaluate the Team Regularly
Any organization’s lifeblood is talent. Long-term success might be difficult to attain without a solid pool of talent. That is why it is critical to analyze the talent pool regularly and find areas where they can develop.
Leaders can gain a more well-rounded perspective on their organization by diversifying their workforce in terms of education, age, gender, and experience. This can help them identify blind spots in their strategy and make better growth investment decisions. Inclusion is also an essential factor to consider when analyzing the talent pool. Creating a welcoming environment can attract and retain top talent.