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How to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

by Olufisayo
Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Over the past decade, diversity and inclusion in the workplace have become a greater priority for many companies. As the benefits of a diverse company become more apparent in the form of optimal performance and job satisfaction, many firms are initiating programs that help create a more diversified and inclusive company culture.

There has undoubtedly been a shift in the perception of what makes a company balanced and productive. Diversity and inclusion have taken great leaps in the past few years, especially in the corporate world, but there is still a long way to go. As more companies discover the benefits of a diverse team, we will continue to see more positive changes.

Employment and productivity studies have shown that firms with diversity and inclusion policies in place experience higher levels of productivity and innovation. Companies that foster the ideals of a broad spectrum of employee backgrounds and experience have a stronger core that breeds commitment and success.

Recent worldwide events have once again sparked the conversation about racism and social injustice, forcing many individuals and companies to reevaluate their internal and onboarding policies. These changes are a welcome shift, and the global workforce continues to be diverse and unique.

Companies that want to focus on building a work environment that is diverse and inclusive can get advice and strategic help from firms like Global Learning Inc. Changing attitudes and company policies requires a gradual shift in expectations, equity, and diversity policies that can help your business thrive. Let’s look at a few ways to improve the diversity and inclusion status of your company.

Unconscious Bias

Most employees like to believe that they have no active bias regarding fellow employees in the workplace. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people function with some level of unconscious bias brought forth by the early teachings or familial belief systems. Although most unconscious bias is not displayed outwardly, it can affect how employees interact in the workplace. Company leaders need to address this and encourage their staff to take a deeper look at their own beliefs while working towards a more inclusive attitude.

Managing Bias

Never assume that your entire staff is comfortable with a more inclusive workplace. There will continue to be slightly or even unconsciously uncomfortable members with others that are outside of their religion, sex, or ethnic background. Bringing in an educational expert that can help staff understand the benefits of a broader spectrum of inclusion can be effective. Through education and open communication, workers can accept their own subtle bias and learn to openly appreciate what others from diverse backgrounds have to offer the company.

Pay Equity

The largest source of tension and job dissatisfaction in the workplace is a lack of pay equity. When employees see others getting more compensation for equal work, it can cause resentment that can affect productivity. It is the responsibility of company managers to do a thorough analysis of compensation and salary records to see where any gaps exist. Leveling the playing field and providing equal opportunities to all employees can help to foster a more effective and productive team.

Diversity Training

Employees need guidance in gaining a greater understanding of the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Diversity training explores how to manage conflict, increase empathy, and teach coworkers that their differences benefit the group. Bringing in a diversity consultant can help both leaders and employees to gain a broader understanding of the challenges that need to be faced. Management needs to be clear about why the training is taking place and outline the specific goals for the company culture.

Cultural Holidays

A positive way to acknowledge diversity in the workplace is to bring awareness and encourage the celebration of various religious and cultural holidays. Education and knowledge is the enemy of bias. Encouraging your employees to share their experiences and teach others about their cultural traditions can broaden and enlighten your entire staff. By recognizing cultural and religious holidays, you are relating your understanding and acceptance of these differences.

Team Building

Providing opportunities for team members to learn from different perspectives, experiences and backgrounds can help them integrate a more diverse workplace. Building teams that have various perspectives can enhance innovation and inspire the creative process. Teams should be built to include members of different cultural backgrounds, gender, sexuality, ability, and race to enhance the collaborative structure and boost productivity.

Open Communication

Understanding what is going on under the surface inside an organization is the most effective way to institute change. Encouraging feedback from all employees will not only inform management about any problems in attitude but help to focus any on changes that are needed. All team members should feel free to express their concerns and issues with management, knowing that appropriate action will be considered.

Updating Policies

Employers need to consider the areas of their business where problems of discrimination may exist. Analyzing the source of a problem allows leaders to see more clearly where their policies need to be updated. Most people who end up leaving a company due to a lack of job satisfaction claim that a non-inclusive culture was part of the reason behind their decision.

Company policies should be reconsidered with a more diverse and inclusive culture in mind. Policies that enable racism or discrimination to exist need to be replaced or updated with improved guidelines. Changes to company policies should be inspired by employee feedback to make the company culture more inclusive.

Tracking Progress

The shift towards a more inclusive and diverse workplace doesn’t happen overnight. Although these changes are essential to building a successful and sustainable workplace, they will take constant restructuring, analysis, and consideration. It’s vital that continual audits on how the system is working and what areas still need adjustment to continue beyond the initial introduction of policies.

As the world evolves to a place that is inclusive to people of all backgrounds and ethnic differences, the corporate world needs to continue its work inside the company culture. Supporting employee diversity and inclusion standards will help support team members and create a higher level of job satisfaction. Companies that recognize that these inclusive policies are a priority will move into the future as strong and innovative firms.

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