Many businesses take steps to create more diverse workplaces by hiring people of different nationalities, races, genders, and sexual orientations. Unfortunately, in many cases, that’s where the efforts come to a sudden stop, and it quickly turns out that what’s been done to this point is simply not enough. Cultural inclusion can improve your company culture, but it has to be approached from the right angle — everyone needs to feel they’re truly welcome, free to be themselves, and safe in their workplace.
Creating a culture where people are appreciated and respected takes a whole lot of effort and funding. Still, when employees who are different from their colleagues are allowed to flourish, the company can truly benefit from the ways they approach their duties, as well as their skills, ideas, and engagement in the task they’re faced with.
Inclusive recruitment strategies, giving employees opportunities to provide feedback, listening to them, and celebrating their differences are just some of the ways to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. Here are some excellent strategies that can help you achieve this goal.
Your employees often prove to know the ins and outs of your company just as well as you do. This is why it’s vital to listen to what they have to say and value their opinion. When you give them opportunities to talk about their experiences at work, you allow them to voice any concerns they have about their treatment or the state of the company, as well as any ideas they might have for improvement.
However, some people just don’t feel comfortable voicing their opinions out loud, and they prefer to use different outlets for connecting with others and sharing their stories. This issue can be easily solved by conducting employee surveys or encouraging company all-hands discussions or campaigns. When shy people are around their colleagues and feel like everyone’s making an effort toward a common goal, they might feel more encouraged to speak up.
Additionally, your staff might benefit from the option to contact employment attorneys. Such people can help employers and employees work together to resolve a problem, from wages and workplace safety to discrimination and wrongful termination.
Celebrate the Differences Among Your Employees
You mustn’t simply pay lip service to diversity. One of the most important and effective ways to show employees that you respect their backgrounds and traditions is by encouraging them to share these characteristics in the workplace. Just because the Federal Government doesn’t recognize holidays other than the Christian ones like Easter or Christmas doesn’t mean your company also has to omit them.
If you want to create an inclusive workplace, make an effort to learn the background of your employees and speak to them directly. Then, it would be an excellent idea to allow them to take a day or two off in time when holidays that are important to their culture take place. Let those who celebrate Hanukkah or Diwali have paid time off just like they have it during Christmas.
Address Communication Barriers
When your employees come from different backgrounds, they’ve just recently arrived in your country to explore new job opportunities, or they work remotely from all around the world, you might find yourself in a position where it will be necessary to address communication barriers.
English takes the crown as the most common second language worldwide, and most people, no matter their background, speak it very well. However, there still might be instances when team members have trouble understanding each other. For example, the employees may experience issues when communicating with the leaders and managers. To improve the situation, you can address these barriers with language cards or interpreters that can help make communication more accessible and transparent for everyone.
Conduct Employee Diversity Training
It would be best to educate both the leaders and employees on the best ways to treat people from different backgrounds. Diversity training can become a part of your onboarding process, so you can ensure that all the new hires are briefed on the importance of diversity and its role in helping your company stay strong and inclusive.
Diversity training aims to increase participants’ cultural awareness, knowledge, and communication. It should emphasize how to treat people from different cultural backgrounds who hold different beliefs and be closely tied to your company’s harassment policy and principles.
Even though your workers might already understand that everyone deserves respect and try to be sensitive and considerate, they may be unaware that certain questions or comments can be offensive to people with different backgrounds.
Don’t Expect Everyone To Agree on Everything
Diversity is not about representing all of the same opinions or having everyone agree on everything. Instead, it should serve as a reminder that people are different, meaning that they will have varying expectations regarding their job, treatment by colleagues, career paths, etc.
When you accept this fact and work with your employees on achieving common goals while still allowing everyone to pursue their own interests and dreams, you’ll see a significant improvement in your company culture.
When employees are happy and feel appreciated for their work, they are more productive and motivated to do even better, bringing the best results for any company. Additionally, workers who land a job in a company that really cares about creating an inclusive and diverse environment are less likely to look for other jobs. Still, creating such an environment isn’t done overnight, so you’ll have to put in the effort and take steps toward creating one.
You can start by encouraging your workers to provide you with feedback on how they’re feeling in the company. Training them on respect and diversity is also a great way to improve your company’s culture and make sure that no one feels excluded from the teams they work in. You should also ensure there is no miscommunication due to language barriers that are easy to address and overcome. It’s all about wanting to change for the better and actually making an effort to do so.
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