An inclusive workplace community is a great way to boost morale, create a sense of belonging, and build satisfaction in the workplace. Although the specifics of inclusivity will change between organizations, there are some excellent foundational steps that will move you in the right direction.
Read on for a helpful guide to connecting with your workforce, building a community, and creating a more welcoming workplace.
Get Buy In from the Executive Suite and Senior Managers
A strong desire for inclusivity is essential, but for a successful change, you need buy in from the most senior levels of the business:
- Research the tangible benefits of inclusivity and how they can boost engagement and the bottom line.
- Begin discussions with senior managers and get an executive sponsor for your initiatives.
- Build a business case, together with timelines, costs, resources, budget, and expected outcomes.
- Show a tangible “return on investment” for inclusivity.
- Present the case to the executive suite to get buy in.
Once you have commitment, you can start building your plan for introducing inclusivity.
Understand what Inclusivity Means in Your Workplace and Create a Strategy
Inclusivity means different things, depending on who you’re asking, and you want your workplace to feel welcoming for as much of your workforce as possible:
- Talk to your workforce about what inclusivity means to them.
- Find out if there are any specific groups that have particular issues with not feeling included.
- Get suggestions from impacted individuals or teams on how they can feel more included.
- Get feedback on your inclusivity plans to identify any issues early on.
- Develop a way to track improvements to inclusivity, like workforce surveys.
- Refine your inclusivity strategy over time, based on the results you’re seeing.
This will give you a great starting point for introducing inclusivity into your workplace.
Create Policies and Communicate the Need for Inclusivity to the Workforce
Once you understand how to build a more inclusive workplace, enshrine those key findings in your company strategy and policies:
- Write inclusivity policies to help you meet your workplace goals and get feedback from executives, managers, and individuals.
- Create a communications plan on the importance of inclusivity in the workplace, together with actions that individuals, teams, and managers can take.
- Focus on the benefits that inclusivity can create and let people know what’s in it for them.
- Emphasize and repeat your inclusivity communications and work on a regular basis.
Create Forums and Tools to Boost Inclusivity
Support an inclusive workplace by giving people the resources they need:
- Introduce inclusivity training for your workforce.
- Create face-to-face inclusivity workshops.
- Develop online forums and discussion groups.
- Teach managers and supervisors on how to encourage inclusivity in their teams.
Make Workplace Inclusivity Part of Objectives
Turn your inclusivity strategy into specific objectives for teams and individuals. If they have a defined goal to work towards, this can help people understand how changes to their behavior can make a difference to everyone around them.
Follow our mini guide to building inclusivity in the workplace, and you’ll be able to create a more welcoming environment for everyone.