Inclusivity is not just important, it’s crucial. The benefits of including everyone are many: inclusive workplaces are more productive, employees are happier and less stressed, there is less turnover, and they make for a better place to work. Without inclusivity, your workplace will be missing out on all the incredible ideas that could come from someone who may seem different than you or have an unfamiliar background. One person can’t do everything alone so why try? Invite new people in, because diversity, equity and inclusion are the new orange! And here is why you should.
Inclusive workplaces are important for many reasons that include more inclusive workplaces are more productive, happier employees, less stressed, less turnover, and they make for a better place to work. Some studies have shown that if an employee is excluded at work it can affect their mental health. One study showed that when someone feels excluded at work, they are more likely to be dissatisfied and less productive. Another study showed that when employees felt like they were part of a community it increased their performance and made them happier. These studies back up the idea that an inclusive workplace is not only important, but crucial. Just as crucial as equity and inclusion.
- The Benefits of Inclusion
- Race, ethnicity and gender diversity
- How to create an inclusive workplace
- 3 simple workplace changes to be inclusion
- What does inclusion look like for different people and groups
- Inclusion may be a new idea for everyone
- How can a diverse team be involved?
- Lunch, breakfast and a diverse workforce
- What is everyone working on?
- Managers and supervisors
- Understanding that everyone has biasses
- Including racial and ethnic diversity
- In conclusion regarding inclusion at work
- Caveats and Disclaimers
The Benefits of Inclusion
Many companies cite the benefits of making their work environments inclusive – and for good reason – employees are more productive, less stressed and tend to stay longer. As a result, this creates a better work environment with employee encouragement, shorter employee turnover rates and is ultimately more cost-efficient.
Inclusivity has many benefits; including making workplaces more pleasant thus increasing productivity levels. Workplaces where people can wear what they need to feel comfortable at work also tend to have lower turnover rates. The employees are happier because they’re able to express themselves freely, even in conservative environments such as accounting firms or law offices. Employers who commit themselves not just to create an inclusive space but promote it outside of the workplace will reap the rewards by attracting diverse talent that would otherwise have gone to more inclusive employers.
Another benefit is that employees tend to socialize more and help each other out with work which leads to better job satisfaction. If employees can discuss any issues at work they are less likely to hold tension in the workplace, leading to shorter tempers and less stress. Stress levels directly affect productivity; employees who are stressed and unhappy tend to do less work, produce worse work and cause more workplace accidents.
Race, ethnicity and gender diversity
Inclusive workplaces also provide a better atmosphere for those who don’t fit into the typical mold of what is considered “normal” in society. For example, an employee may be homosexual or transgendered but at their current workplace they are unable to come out or express themselves freely. If they were able to do so then it would create an environment that is more accepting of others’ differences and allow for the individual to feel more comfortable.
The list goes on but the overall effect, which should be apparent by now, is that inclusive workplaces are better places to work. Employees have more fun, are happier and have a better relationship with their coworkers. They’re also more productive because they enjoy being there and take pride in what they do as opposed to just going through the motions all day long.
How to create an inclusive workplace
To create an inclusive workplace, it is important to first talk with your employees and find out what they need to feel more comfortable at work. From there, you can look into ways to make your space more inclusive for all people. For example, if an employee needs to wear certain clothing for religious purposes, you may want to provide a place for them within the office where they can change before or after their shifts. It is also important to be sensitive about gender identity– providing gender-neutral bathrooms is one way of doing this. Discussing these issues early on will allow employees time to come up with creative solutions that will benefit them and the company as well.
3 simple workplace changes to be inclusion
Some simple things that employers can do are:
- changing the language in the office
- having an open-door policy for employees to voice their concerns
- a zero-tolerance bullying policy
These three things will help create a more inclusive workplace because the environment will be open to all types of people and they’ll feel welcome when they come into work each day.
What does inclusion look like for different people and groups
Some people may feel uncomfortable in an inclusive environment if they’re not used to it. For example, someone who is Muslim may be wearing a hijab and feel like their religion is being judged. Although the intention behind having an inclusive workplace is to make everyone feel comfortable, there will always be some people that don’t feel that way. That’s why it’s important to talk with your employees and get to know them better before putting rules in place for the office. This will make it more likely for them to understand their needs and how can you help meet them.
Common causes of discomfort are typically due to the lack of representation in the office or cultural misunderstandings. Another cause could be having different religions at work, which sometimes leads to tension in the work environment. Regardless of what kind of environment you’re trying to create, if people feel judged or that their needs aren’t being met then they won’t be able to work happily with others.
Inclusion may be a new idea for everyone
Some groups may not feel comfortable in an inclusive workplace because of the lack of representation. For example, if there are no transgendered people in an office, a sole transgendered person may feel uncomfortable because of the lack of representation. Also, many workplaces still do not have any black employees, and that could cause discomfort among black people who are applying to work there.
Finally, some people just aren’t used to having inclusivity at their workplace so when it is introduced, they’re not comfortable with it either. This is usually due to cultural misunderstandings or the lack of being exposed to inclusive behavior. So it’s important to have these conversations with employees early on to create a more comfortable environment for everyone.
How can a diverse team be involved?
There are a few different ways to make your team inclusive. One is to make sure that there are no single members of the team that are overburdened with tasks. Singling out an individual will cause them to feel singled out, which can lead to resentment and eventually, burnout. If you have small teams, it might be helpful for everyone to take on an equal share of the workload. It can also help if you allow time for people’s personal responsibilities outside of work so they don’t feel like they’re not able to balance their work life and personal life.
Lunch, breakfast and a diverse workforce
Attendance at things like company lunches or breakfasts can also be good ways of building inclusion on your team. Sometimes, just making sure that everyone feels heard and valued can make them feel included in the workplace. In some cases, making some accommodations for people with disabilities can also improve their feeling of inclusion. Being able to work from home or take time off when needed are things that can make a big difference.
What is everyone working on?
Everyone on the team should be involved in planning cycles, even if they’re not necessarily doing all of the execution. This helps everyone feel needed, which will improve morale. Everyone should also be involved in setting goals and reviewing the work in progress on those goals.
Managers and supervisors
It’s especially important to involve managers and supervisors when creating an inclusive workplace. They might not all think that creating an inclusive office is worth the time and effort, but if they’re included in the process then it will be more likely for them to at least understand why it’s important.
If you want your employees to feel like you value them as humans and aren’t just looking to hire someone with a certain skill set, you will need to make their interests known. Find out what your employees want for themselves and the team, and then work towards those goals together.
Understanding that everyone has biasses
Finally, taking time to help people understand their prejudices or biases can help foster feelings of inclusion too. Allowing people to ask questions about the differences between genders, sexual orientations, and disabilities can help them know what to expect and how they may need to adjust their behavior so there are no misunderstandings.
Including racial and ethnic diversity
People who haven’t been exposed to inclusivity before will need some time to get used to it, but that’s ok because everyone is different. You may have employees who are from a different generation, have a different cultural background, or who don’t have the same interests as everyone else. Making them feel comfortable with how you work and what’s expected of them is important if you want this to be a place where they’re happy to come every day.
Including people from all walks of life can help improve your team’s performance, boost morale, decrease employee turnover, increase collaboration and provide better quality products for your customers.
In conclusion regarding inclusion at work
Inclusive environments are not only important, they’re crucial. In this blog post, you learned some of the many benefits that come from including everyone on your team and how to create a more inclusive workplace for all employees. Whether you want to increase productivity or boost morale, inclusivity will help with those goals as well as others like decreasing employee turnover and increasing collaboration between different teams. You can’t afford to neglect these principles if you want your business to thrive!
Caveats and Disclaimers
We have covered many topics in this article and want to be clear that any reference to, or mention of workforce, racial and ethnic, gender, team, attract talent, employee resource groups, efforts, means, perspectives, promote, companies, organizations, ethnic, sexual orientation, global, inclusion, talent, inclusive, team members, prioritize, culture, broad range, background, hiring practices, political affiliation, process, business case, equal, competitive edge, unconscious bias, marital status, different, path forward, sense, crucial, workplace, company, leadership, create, data, innovation, successful, focusing, recognize, example, customers or ethnicity in the context of this article is purely for informational purposes and not to be misconstrued with investment advice or personal opinion. Thank you for reading.
Research & Curation
Dean Emerick is a curator on sustainability issues with ESG The Report, an online resource for professionals focusing on ESG principles. Their primary goal is to provide resources to help middle market companies, SMEs and SMBs transition to a more sustainable future.