Creating an Inclusive Workspace
Opening the Door to Coworkers and Colleagues
When someone new joins the team, do you invite them out for lunch, walk them around to introduce them to everyone on the team or at the company, or spend time to tell them about the various resources available to them?
If you do, congratulations, that’s a great first step. Not all companies do this, but it plays a critical role in ensuring employees feel welcome and included in their new environment.
By taking an all-of-company approach to employee onboarding, companies can create a more inclusive environment for the diverse staff and as a result, reduce their turn-over rates and increase employee satisfaction.
Ask What You Can Do
When developing inclusive activities for employees, form an inclusiveness task force and ensure it includes a diverse range of staff from all levels of the company. A pitfall many organizations can fall into is assuming they know what will help employees feel more included. Rather than fall into that trap, ask employees what they want and then deliver. Then measure to see how well you did and try again. The ask-do-measure strategy will help you grow and improve over time and your continued efforts will be recognized and rewarded by your thankful employees.
Give Visibility to Diversity
Work with your staff to ensure that they can see themselves in all aspects of the company’s work. Are they encouraged to decorate their spaces in a way that makes them feel more at home? Does the company celebrate the diversity of its staff by inviting them to share food and customs from their home cultures? Even providing rooms for prayer or meditation can help diverse employees feel more welcome and included in the work culture.
Provide Continuous Training
Issues of racism, sexism, and feelings of being disadvantaged or unheard run deep in many cultures. To support a diverse team, coordinate and promote continuous training and education on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Provide team members with the tools needed to discuss issues such as racism in constructive ways encourage open and honest dialogues. Over time, team members will gain better insight into complex issues and will better prepare them for working effectively as a team.
As you continue your journey to embrace inclusive practices, check in often with those around you and ensure they know that the end goal is that they feel more welcome and included in the work that you’re doing. You might make a mistake or say the wrong thing at times, but these small check-ins will help to keep everyone focused on the end goal and will help you gain insight on when you are headed in the wrong direction.