Promoting Inclusion and Diversity in the Office: Here’s How
Would you rather have a team that crumbles under pressure or one that thrives no matter the odds thrown against them? The answer’s pretty clear to us. That’s why inclusion and diversity are so sought after in the workplace. These components will make or break a team.
Luckily, you’ve stumbled on this blog post and are headed in the right direction. If you’re looking to promote inclusion and diversity in the office, here are some things to keep in mind.
Take the Time to Measure Inclusion and Diversity
Wait, what? Is it possible to measure something like inclusion and diversity? It is and should be done. What gets measured gets done. Here are a few ways to obtain hard data.
Start by conducting anonymous company surveys to learn how your employees actually feel about diversity, inclusion, and general company culture. Include questions about fairness, sense of belonging, satisfaction, and other questions that employees may not otherwise bring up. Set goals, and then repeat these surveys every 6 to 12 months.
Your company should also be using customer research when it comes to hiring practices. This way, your business can accommodate certain customer demographics and have that relatable expert on your team.
Make Inclusion and Diversity Goals Public Knowledge
The best way to prevent inclusion and diversity from being swept under the rug is to make it public. Be accountable for the goals you set, and make it a priority to have check-in dates. Even if the results are subpar, the more important thing is acknowledging the problem and remaining persistent towards improvement.
From executives to hiring recruiters to front-line workers – all employees should be playing a part in the journey towards inclusion and diversity.
Adopt Inclusive Language
Language is the building block of communication. Yet, have you ever considered how not inclusive it is? Words like “salesmen” are non-inclusive and phrases like “stop acting like a girl” are derogatory and offensive. Harmful language needs to be cut from your company’s everyday language.
It all starts with how your executives and team managers are talking. Train your higher-ups to speak inclusively and this will encourage the rest of your team to do so.
When on your journey to adopting inclusive language, start by asking your employees for their preferred gender pronouns. Use neutral terms like “partner” instead of “husband” or “wife”. You’ll also want to avoid industry jargon that may feel offensive to minorities that work within your team.
Hire with Intention
The people you hire next are just as important as the people already on your team. Many hiring managers fall into a pit trap where they are exclusively looking for someone just like the rest of the team. Sounds good in theory, right? It does make for easier relationships and less awkwardness – but there’s really no other benefit than that. Hiring a cookie-cutter team member means you’re losing out on varying skills, ideas, and perspectives.
If you know that your team is seriously lacking when it comes to gender or racial diversity, hire with intention. Set goals to combat what your team is lacking and actively pursue them.