MENU
Inclusion and Diversity

10/07/2020 Comments Off on Celebrating Differences: Implementing Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace Views: 279 Life At Work, Work Culture

Celebrating Differences: Implementing Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace

Listen To This Blog

Every workplace is, in a way, a microscopic version of the world. If we were born on a fictional planet called Zerth, where there were robots created from a single mold called Bumans, then workplaces would have no real reason to worry about diversity.

But we were born on the planet Earth that is so incredibly diverse in itself, which is why we must also have diversity and inclusion in the workplaceto cater to our audiences and be truly successful. It’s that simple. 

To be able to appeal to your audiences, to give them what they want and to understand them better, diversity and inclusion at workis the key. And that’s research backed. Companies with ethnic and racial diversity have 35% better financial returns, while those with gender diversity are likely to have 15% more.

So,how do you implement diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Fine-Tune Your Hiring Process

Are you leaning towards hiring people who speak a certain language or belong to a specific nationality?

Hiring is where it starts. We tend to make decisions unconsciously that stem from our beliefs and prejudices. Becoming conscious of your biases is step one. Realising that it is detrimental to inclusion at the workplace, and also acknowledging that you are being unconsciously unfair to someone – These are the next steps.

What You Can Do: 

  • Make sure your job descriptions are in a gender-neutral language (tools like Alex, Compass, Allie can help).
  • ‘Culture misfit’ shouldn’t be a reason for rejection.
  • In your careers page, talk about how your organization is committed towards inclusion.
  • Conduct blind screening of resumes, where the name of the person is omitted.
  • Ensure that AI systems you use are free of biases themselves. This requires sourcing AI tools where machine learning systems draw from data that is free of bias and therefore not skewed towards a particular section of society.

Start From The Top

Are your management-level executives all men or from one ethnicity? 

What your top brass comprises is important. If your management or board members do not embody and practice diversity and inclusion at work, it’s possible that over time, your workforce will become homogenous and therefore prone to ignoring the importance of D&I at work. 

What You Can Do: 

  • Tie up with NGOs where the board members are directly involved in making them open up.
  • Conduct discussions with the management of other companies who practice D&I for good influence.
  • Ensure your board itself has people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Present data on how D&I can boost success in the workplace.

Make Sure There Is No Need To Hide One’s Identity

Does your workplace bully someone who is gay? Does it look down upon new mothers?

Employees who don’t need to pretend to fit in will be more motivated, happy, and productive. Things said as a ‘joke’ can be taken pretty seriously. And rightly so. Sensitization needs to start right from the smallest of micro-aggressions. It is these that grow into threats and harassment if ignored for too long, and end up creating an atmosphere of hostility and insecurity for the person on the receiving end. Have zero tolerance for offensive remarks.

What You Can Do: 

  • At the time of induction and orientation, talk about diversity and inclusion with an emphasis on how your organization takes it seriously.
  • Tweak the concept of the ‘swear jar’ and deduct 1% from your employee’s salaries when they are rude or act out of prejudice. Make this public. After three strikes, take disciplinary action.
  • Have motivational speakers who have fought against biases talk to your employees.

It’s In The Small Things

Do you celebrate holidays only from a certain religion?

Making it special for everybody is important. Are you sending out wishes only for Christmas and not for Eid? 

What You Can Do:  

  • Celebrate different occasions and festivals by sending out a simple email.
  • You could have a different refrigerator for Kosher food or a room where one could offer namaz, a tampon/sanitary pad machine in the restroom, among other things.
  • Movie screenings in different languages, free language classes, a bulletin board encouraging a culture of D&I are effective tools.
  • Hold an office potluck. Food is the greatest divider and the greatest unifier.

Listen

Are you ignoring grievances or dismissing something off that’s vital?

What may seem trivial to someone may be a big deal for someone else. How do you discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace? 

What You Can Do:

  • Encourage dialogues on topics like equal pay, coming out, etc. to have a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • You can also implement a version of the game ‘fish pond’ where your employees can anonymously share what they feel or are going through. It’s the best way of promoting inclusion in the workplace.

Understanding that diversity is not only about race, gender, or ethnicity is important. You can also improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace based on sexual orientation, generation, disability, personality type, etc. 

Encouraging diversity in the workplacecan lead to better decision-making 87% of the time, and when these decisions are executed by diverse teams, they lead to 60% better results

Try these methods of improving and promoting inclusiveness of culture and diversity at your workplace. Inclusion = happy employees = better productivity = a successful business. More power to you.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.