The workspace of today is very, very different from that of a decade. In today’s day and age, success is not determined by just the revenue that organizations earn, but also by how they treat their employees. Consumer centricity matters, but just as much as employee well-being. As organizations make the shift towards more collaborative, more productive cultures, inclusion and diversity are important to consider. In the last twenty years or so, diversity and inclusion have become a corporate imperative, whether we talk of ethnicities, genders, race or physical disabilities. The responsibility of building such cultures falls upon the HR wing of businesses, but it is definitely worth it. Here are a few steps that can help you build inclusive work environments for all.
1. Educating business leaders:
Before starting with initiatives that can be implemented actively to further efforts towards inclusion, it is important that everyone in the organization is on the same page, especially the business leaders. The first step towards these initiatives should be gauging the current mindset of these leaders, since it is these mindsets that shape up the collective thought process of the organization. Thus, understanding the concept of inclusivity and diversity becomes the very first step to take.
2. Celebrate diversity:
Making people feel respected and accepted despite of our differences is what makes for long-standing relationships. Whether it is celebrating different festivals in the same space, having potluck lunches or just talking to them about their roots can create an environment of trust. An enhanced HR presence can also help such initiatives, and bring about a palpable difference in the way we work, creating spaces that people feel comfortable in. Engage with your employees freely, and see the difference it brings.
3. Focus on transparency:
An employee’s daily experiences are more telling about the business than anything else. Open, transparent conversations within the organization can work wonders, and such spaces in corporate offices are the need of the hour. Having spaces where people can freely speak their mind may often create relationships that transcend the boundaries of the office. Systems and processes thus might be strict, but should not be too stringent. The more accommodating you are to your employees, the more they will treat the workspace as a family, and that’s incredibly powerful!
4. Set measurable outcomes:
Establishing and setting measurable, time-bound goals to measure the success of your strategy is necessary. Yes, culture is something that numbers cannot measure, but here’s the catch. Internal teams will need to have a way to gauge the way people feel and then bring in change wherever required or face the risk of failure. Conducting an audit of processes, shortcomings and employee engagement will help. Timely check-in also matters a lot, and it is things like these that keep the morale of the organization high.
In theory, all of this might sound simple, but practical implementation takes a lot of time and effort. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Start from the beginning, and as long as you take one step at a time, success will come to you incrementally!