What is workplace inclusion?
Workplace inclusion is about creating a workplace environment where all people are truly welcome, valued, and respected.
When you become a business which promotes inclusion, diversity, and equality, the outcome speaks for itself. It means employees can work in happier and healthier conditions–resulting in higher productivity, quality work, and business success.
Through policies and practices, employers can demonstrate a proactive approach to workplace inclusion and celebrate collective differences.
The importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion
Under the Equality Act (2010), employees have a legal right to be treated fairly. ‘Fairness’ is almost like an umbrella term for equality, inclusion, and diversity.
Every employee should receive fair treatment during their careers. This stretches from their first day, right through to promotional opportunities.
When you ignore their rights to inclusivity and fair treatment, it could be seen as discrimination. You cannot treat an employee unfairly because of nine protected characteristics. These include:
- Family status.
- Marital status.
- Pregnancy or maternity.
- Religion or belief.
- Sexual orientation.
If an employee believes they’ve suffered from unfair treatment during work, they could raise this as grievance claim. These types of discriminatory claims are judged through tribunal courts. And if you are found guilty, you could face compensation fees, production losses, and reputational damages.
How to create an inclusive company culture
Now that we’ve looked at what inclusion is, let’s learn to create a workplace culture based on it:
Create an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy
One of the best ways to promote inclusive practices is to add them to your workplace rules. It’s especially beneficial to add them to employment contracts, handbooks, and policies.
So, start by creating an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy. This is a rulebook which outlines the reasons and methods for inclusion. For example, your policy can touch on the following:
- Openly encouraging inclusion and impartiality.
- Outlining appropriate conduct, attitudes, and behaviour.
- Highlighting zero-tolerance for discrimination.
- Presenting grievance methods for resolving issues.
Educate everyone on the importance of inclusivity
You must educate your management on the importance of workplace inclusion. Through the right education and support, you’re guaranteed to build a workplace which advocates inclusivity.
During daily work-life, supervisors and managers have the strongest connections with employees. This means without them, it might prove near-impossible to implement changes or attitudes.
So, through them, you can educate everyone on the importance of workplace inclusion.
Provide inclusivity training to your employees
Make inclusion training mandatory for any employee on a managerial level. Teach them about the real, practical meaning of inclusion, and not a ‘dictionary-definition’ of it.
For example, you might introduce training on eliminating ‘unconscious bias’. This is when you have thoughts or make judgements about others without realising. These might seem like harmless, internal thoughts. But most of the case, these will manifest into the drive for their decisions.
Implement inclusivity within your recruitment stages
it’s so important to implement inclusivity in all areas of your business–particularly within recruitment.
From advertising jobs to conducting interviews, you need to ensure every level of recruitment follows a fair and inclusive method. Ensure this so every potential candidate understands your company ethos when applying for job roles.
Ensure EVERYONE complies to inclusivity practices
Inclusivity is something that all employees need to respect. So, ensure everyone complies–from the bottom to the top.
This can be done through so many methods, from engaging in conversations to implementing review plans. No matter what size your company is, be steadfast on promoting inclusivity in your workplace. Listen to any queries or concerns raised; and ensure ways to help process any inclusion issues.
Let’s celebrate our differences through inclusion
It’s so important to show your employees how your company respects all types of cultures, identities, and traditions. Highlight the importance of equal treatment and celebrate employee differences.
When you actively support others this way, you will indirectly promote diversity and equality. It’s commonly believed that having diverse teams leads to better decision-making, higher innovation, and work performance.
Remember, inclusion is the glue which connects employees together and creates workplace positivity.