Despite best efforts by HR professionals, a global study by OC Tanner found that only 44% of employees said their organisation’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts felt sincere. Furthermore, although new research has found enthusiasm among British and Irish workers to contribute to DEI programmes by providing personal information, many organisations are far behind where they must be to build the trust to first gather that data; mostly caused by a lack of clear communication and commitment to actions. Here we look at how to make your workplace more inclusive.
Employers today have a golden opportunity to ramp up efforts to build a more inclusive workplace. The growth in flexible working, which has emerged from pandemic, has opened the workplace to people who may have struggled to enter it before. We’ve shared our top tips below to help you take action in building an inclusive workforce fit for 2022 and beyond:
Create an inclusive company culture
First look to create an environment that values, appreciates and welcomes all employees regardless of their background, diverse characteristics or any other factors. Developing an inclusive workplace culture will help all employees feel respected as individuals and encourage all employees to follow the same standards.
We know that developing a good company culture results in more loyal employees and higher performance, but it also reduces employee turnover, increases morale, atmosphere and relationships, and workers are more likely to contribute ideas and support innovation. All of which will help you to stand out when attracting top talent, and further diversifying your workforce.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
Consider awareness and training sessions for all members of staff, to support with your efforts in creating a more inclusive environment. This can also eliminate any unconscious bias and bring inclusiveness to the forefront of your company.
Management training for your leadership team should support in spotting any signs of discrimination or inequality in teams and help them to understand the importance of their role in shaping workplace culture.
As part of this awareness building, employers could also have an equality, diversity and inclusion champion at senior level to act on behalf of under-represented groups and raise any issues that need addressing internally.
Revisit your workplace policies
Many employers have an equal opportunities policy in place, but following the surge of changes caused by the pandemic, it may be worth revisiting and resharing these with your workforce so that everyone is aware of:
- The behaviours expected of them and the types of behaviour that aren’t tolerated
- That the business supports and treats everyone fairly
- The procedures for resolving any internal issues
ACAS has some great further information available here.
Though many businesses have already made the leap to permanent hybrid or flexible working, allowing employees to work flexibly where possible will help ensure your roles and recruitment processes are inclusive for all candidates. Remember, recent reports suggest that the UK Government is to propose plans seeing UK staff to have right to request flexible working from day one.