15 Tips for Building a More Inclusive Workplace in 2021

It's a no-brainer that diversity makes for a stronger workforce. When companies embrace and value employees of different backgrounds into an inclusive workplace, they reap the rewards in creativity and innovation, a strong company culture, improved employee performance, and more.

But diversity isn't the same as inclusivity. Think of inclusivity as the next step to successfully supporting a diverse workforce: It's all about creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and includes each employee.

While inclusivity makes us feel good, inclusive workplace cultures offer far greater benefits than a warm and fuzzy feeling. So they're plain good business sense. Deloitte reports that inclusive workplaces are 6X as likely to be innovative, and have 2.3X the cash flow per employee over non-inclusive workplaces in a 3-year period.

So, if you're ready to launch your inclusivity initiatives, we've put together 15 tips to help your employees flourish, regardless of sex, race, gender, age, religious background, physical ability, or sexual orientation.

Key Takeaways

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1. Get buy-in from the top When it comes to creating and promoting an inclusive workplace, your biggest allies will be your leadership team. Prioritizing inclusivity at your organization will be a challenge if the C-suite doesn't prioritize it, as well.

2. Integrate inclusivity into your core values You should already make it a habit to revisit your company's core values periodically, especially during moments of major change. If your core values don't already include a statement on inclusive culture, get the buy-in from leadership to draft an update and implement it.

3. Model inclusive language As an HR professional, you can be a powerful agent of change by walking the walk - and, well, talking the talk. In all professional communications, model inclusive language. Learn and use the preferred pronouns for employees in your company, and use "spouse" or "partner" rather than the gendered "husband" or "wife" to refer to someone's spouse (especially if you don't know their gender). Partner also works for non-married couples, too.

4. Encourage a culture of frequent check-ins 1-on-1s aren't just for providing in-the-moment feedback. They're also opportunities to build trust. And trust is key for the open dialogue that allows employees to honestly express their needs - or discuss challenges they may experience in your workplace (particularly those of a sensitive nature).

5. Create safe spaces Many companies have already done a wonderful job promoting non-binary and genderqueer inclusion by providing gender-neutral restrooms.

If your organization hasn't already created such a space, consider it. Think, too, about other needs for privacy and safe spaces at work, such as lactation rooms for new mothers, prayer or meditation spaces, and quiet workspaces for workers who may be distracted or overstimulated by open floor plans.

About the Publisher

Published by kazoo

Publish Date

October 2021