Unfortunately, while several companies do hire a diverse staff, they do not utilize this diversity. Efforts need to be put in place to create an inclusive workplace, which in turn can lead to innovative thinking and attract prime talent to your company. Here are a few ways you can create a more inclusive workplace.
- 1. Intermingle With Your Employees
A leader always leads by example. You need to make your employees feel at home for them to operate at their highest potential. Do not make them feel too comfortable, though, or they will start taking things lightly.
You must show an active interest in their likes and dislikes, and harbour no partiality towards anyone. A biased nature all but leads to employees feeling that an environment of favouritism exists in the office. Address prejudice and make it clear that it will not be tolerated. Hold office functions and promote bonding between employees. When organizing these functions or setting up office traditions, keep in mind people’s religious beliefs, and arrange something that everyone would enjoy.
- 2. Do Not Promote Groupism
Even though your employees may not mean to operate solely within their groups, that is often the case.
The Human Resource department holds meetings together, the Sales and Marketing team discusses innovative marketing mechanisms, and the Operations team addresses the challenges your company may face. Other departments of your company operate similarly, and each team tends to work within its departmental vicinity.
Encourage individual employees to interact with one another, and bounce ideas off members of other teams they do not regularly interact with.
Ensure that each employee can access all areas of an office setting and co-mingle with one another. You can also hold brainstorming sessions with employees of different departments, and encourage them to get to know one another while promoting teamwork and stimulating their minds.
- 3. Create Groups For Individuals Of Similar Backgrounds
Creating groups for like-minded individuals can go a long way in bringing the best out of them. You can create groups for employees of shared nationalities, working mothers, and individuals belonging to a particular city or region. Once like-minded employees interact with one another and get comfortable in confiding in one another, you may realize several problems they may be facing.
For example, employees of a particular religion may need time off on some days of the year, while working mothers may need certain days off in a year to be with their children when they are sick.
When you are passionate about your employees, they will work harder towards you, realizing your dreams. After all, your company is your dream, and you need your employees, for your dreams to come true.
- 4. Conduct Employee Training and Personal Development Sessions
Conducting personal development sessions with your employees can go a long way in enabling them to realize each other’s potential. It also helps them intermingle with one another, perform various fun tasks, and better understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
In personal development sessions, trainers generally ask questions and conduct group activities to see how people react to certain situations. Trainers guide them to make certain changes to improve their overall personality.
Personal development workshops also help them develop into more rounded individuals. Training your employees for certain skills, and helping them upgrade their skillset too, can help promote a more inclusive environment. Employees being trained in a certain skillset may take help from others, and bond, while learning on the go.
- 5. Promote Idea Sharing During Meetings
Often during meetings, one idea trumps the other, and someone is cut off midway while saying something. Encourage your employees to share their views and ideas without interrupting them.
Everyone should be able to freely participate in meetings, and recognize their voice, and privileges, as well as their standing in the office. Leaders should share the agenda of a meeting beforehand so that everyone can prepare for the same.
As a leader, you should not interrupt your employees when they speak. Let them share their chain of thought, after which you can add to their ideas, or dismiss them if they do not fit your vision.
In today’s world, several employees work on a freelance basis. Keep in mind the time zones they are operating in, and set a meeting date and time, in accordance to that. Hold meaningful meetings whenever necessary, and not on a fixed period of days.
In today’s world, it is necessary to create an inclusive workplace to promote relationships at work that surpass the barriers of gender, race, and other possible criteria that differentiate between employees. Leaders may tend to unconsciously operate on a level of differences and bias, and display preferential treatment.
Encourage your employees to intermingle, promote brainstorming sessions between individuals of different departments, and hold office functions, as well as activities that promote teamwork and togetherness.
All in all, creating an inclusive environment is not tough. It just requires dedication, coupled with consideration, to achieve your aspirations.