Contemporary organizations lay great emphasis on employee engagement and employee experience. In fact, these have now become the buzzwords in the contemporary corporate world. It is fabulous that organizations are more employee-centric than ever before. Are you embracing this paradigm change as well?
Besides, speaking of the latest workplace trends, the culture of inclusion and diversity is thriving at a great pace. Employers are keen on creating an inclusive workplace environment that brings out the best in everyone.
For that, they are more than willing to go the extra mile and look for some outside-the-box ideas. How creative can you get to promote greater inclusion in your organization?
Well, for that, you do not just need creativity but also a systematic approach. This blog highlights the various ways in which you can promote enhanced inclusion in the workplace.
The blog puts forth some actionable strategies that can add immense value to your pursuit. So, let us see how you can successfully integrate one of the most important business trends in 2022.
Amazing strategies for cultivating a culture of inclusion
Here are some of the amazing strategies for cultivating a culture of inclusion and diversity in the workplace:
1. Promote greater transparency
The key to creating an inclusive workplace is that your employees should feel that they belong to the workplace.
When they carry a strong sense of belonging and inclusiveness, their performance improves. In fact, as per Deloitte, a strong sense of workplace belonging can improve job performance by 56 per cent. Did you know this trivia already?
However, transparency is essential for employees to feel this sense of inclusion and belonging. As per Forbes, more than 50 per cent of employees feel that their organizations withhold information. Having said that, they also feel that it makes them feel excluded and affects their motivation.
Therefore, if you are looking to create a more inclusive workplace, transparency has to be at the epicentre of your company’s culture.
When there is effective information sharing between employees at different levels, it promotes greater cohesion and trust. Besides, you will be amused to know that trust can lead organizations to incredible things.
To substantiate, Harvard Business Review reveals that in high-trust companies, employee engagement is 76 per cent higher. Moreover, in companies with high trust, employees show 50 per cent higher productivity and 29 per cent greater satisfaction.
Woah, a single virtue of trust can make such a significant difference to employee engagement and organizational success. Fascinating, to say the least, isn’t it?
The bottom line is that transparency and trust are indispensable for an inclusive workplace. When you promote greater transparency, you foster high trust in the workplace. This trust further leads to greater inclusiveness in the workplace and higher employee engagement.
2. Make decision-making more inclusive
Another simple and effective way to create an inclusive workplace is to involve your employees in decision-making.
Whether you apply their suggestions or not is a different thing altogether. However, you should at least give them the opportunity to express their opinions, ideas, and perspectives.
We do feel a lot more accepted and valued when we are entitled to share our thoughts and opinions freely, right? We feel we belong to that environment and it does bring out the best in us.
Along similar lines, when you seek your employees’ opinions, they feel more confident. They will feel they are a valuable part of the organization and will be committed to making a positive difference.
This increased confidence and allegiance in employees will further bring out the best innovation in them. This way, you can lead your organization to amazing things with enhanced cohesion.
3. Offer personalized rewards
We already know the correlation between employee recognition and employee performance. In fact, employee rewards and benefits are crucial elements of performance management. However, for greater inclusion and engagement, offering personalized rewards can be a great idea.
We are dwelling in times where personalization is in high demand. Whether it is customer experience or employee experience, everyone desires personalization. However, how does personalization in employee rewards really work?
Let us try and take an example to understand this. Let’s say you give your employees a toaster as a token of appreciation. Yes, of course, they will feel appreciated but for sure they will not be able to relate to the award, will they?
However, if you reward employees who love to binge-watch with Netflix subscriptions, it will mean so much to them. They will feel happy about the fact that you understand their preferences and are happy to deliver on the same. Who needs a toaster as a reward after all?
4. Introduce mentoring programs
Employees always have a basic set of expectations from their organizations. Among these, the expectation of learning and advancement opportunities is of great priority. Especially for millennials and Gen Z employees, workplace learning and development is of utmost importance.
To substantiate, as per Lorman, workplace learning is a high priority for almost 90 per cent of millennials. When everyone gets a fair share of learning and advancement opportunities, they feel included. Otherwise, if there is any bias or favouritism in the workplace, people feel excluded.
Having said that, as a leader, you need to ensure that you create a natural environment of learning. Besides, this environment should also promote unbiased advancement opportunities for all.
For that, introducing mentoring programs in the workplace can be an incredible idea. In fact, insights reveal that more than 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 Companies have thoughtful mentoring programs. This explains that most business leaders see great promise in mentoring programs to create an inclusive culture.
Besides, it is also true that employees feel far more comfortable in mentor-mentee arrangements. Of course, your employees will be more comfortable seeking guidance from you when they look at you as a mentor and not a boss.
Having said that, for facilitating effective upskilling and reskilling, you can introduce thoughtful mentoring programs in the workplace. Besides, you can also introduce mentoring programs in stress management, confidence building, mental wellness, and other personal employee problems.
When you help employees in personal growth through mentoring programs, they will reciprocate with greater commitment in lieu of such comprehensive inclusion
5. Celebrate diversity in the workplace
Diverse organizations are taking giant leaps in the corporate world. In fact, diversity and inclusion are directly linked to business benefits. As per McKinsey & Company, diverse organizations have a 35 per cent higher chance of outperforming their counterparts.
However, for that, you need to celebrate diversity in a holistic way and go one step ahead to blend diversity with inclusion. If you want to create an inclusive workplace, celebrate your people, their unique identities, and their contribution to the organization. For that, you can celebrate your people through internal newsletters or even social media.
If someone is from a minority background, they will by default have some insecurities. They will have a constant feeling of being excluded from the mainstream.
But when you celebrate them, their faith, their festivals, and their perspectives, it will make such an incredible difference. In this way, you can promote greater inclusion and coherence in your organization.
6. Create continuous feedback mechanisms
We mentioned above how employees want to learn and evolve professionally. But can learning exist without effective and regular feedback sharing? Creating a high-performing culture requires continuous feedback sharing.
When managers and supervisors share effective feedback with their subordinates, it promotes continuous knowledge sharing. Further, as subordinates see their seniors adding value to their learning, they feel more accepted in the workplace.
Besides, when employees receive positive feedback, they also feel appreciated. In the ultimate sense, both appreciation and acceptance add to greater inclusion.
7. Cultivate a culture of empathy
In the post-pandemic corporate world, the significance of empathy is more than ever before. Besides, for most employees, empathy is a crucial aspect of their allegiance to an organization and workplace motivation.
Let us ask you a simple question. Would you feel included in an environment where people do not value and understand your emotions?
Would you be comfortable around people who do not show respect for your feelings? In all probability, you will not get that vibe from such an environment.
However, when you are around people who value and respect your feelings, you will feel accepted. The same is true for your employees with respect to their inclusion in the workplace. When their seniors and co-workers show empathy towards them, they will feel included.
Besides, it is interesting to note that as per Businessolver, more than 75 per cent of employees feel that they have a higher motivation while working in an empathetic organization. This explains that empathy is not only about fostering an inclusive culture.
The benefits of empathy go far beyond that and can add immense value to organizational success.
As a leader, you need to lead by example and show greater empathy. You need to model empathy for your employees for creating a natural culture of empathy that reinforces inclusion. This is where your ability to lead by example will be put to test.
How do you create an inclusive work environment?
Here are the strategies that will help you build an inclusive work environment:
- Promote greater transparency.
- Make decision-making more inclusive.
- Offer personalized rewards.
- Introduce mentoring programs.
- Celebrate diversity in the workplace.
- Create continuous feedback mechanisms.
- Cultivate a culture of empathy.
To encapsulate, inclusive organizations can perform far better than their counterparts. Inclusion can be the foundation of great things transpiring in an organization. However, for that, you need to make inclusion an integral part of the working environment.
With the above approaches to promoting greater inclusion, you can achieve the same with distinction. So, it is time to exclude the odds and create a more inclusive workplace than ever before.
“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer’s thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at ‘The Speakingnerd’. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.