The Coronavirus pandemic has created many employer challenges over the last 16 months. However, having a diverse and inclusive workplace must remain a top priority for all employers.
It is essential due to the obvious ethical reasons, as well as improving workplace morale, innovation, and boosting business success.
A diverse workforce, whether it be in terms of age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientations, gender, gender identity and national origin, also brings different viewpoints and perspectives into a company.
Though, diversity in the workplace does not necessarily mean inclusivity in the workplace. Of course, making diversity a priority is crucial – but so is the next step, creating a culture where people from all backgrounds feel included.
As HR experts, we have set out a few practical steps that employers can take to adopt diversity and inclusion into their place of work:
Adopt a company culture where every voice is heard – Many employees quit their jobs when they feel like their authentic self and unique ideas are not appreciated or valued.
Therefore, it is key that workers feel a sense of connection to the company and the people. Employees need to feel that they are free to express themselves, no matter what perspective or personal characteristics they have.
Train your people managers – Line managers are responsible for a large scope of matters, from allocating work to monitoring sickness absence or grievance issues. Any treatment deemed as unfair, and possibly discriminatory, could occur when carrying out these tasks, if not trained on diversity and inclusion properly.
Making sure managers having a working knowledge of discrimination law is key to the successful functioning of the business. This is also something that will help managers to create and maintain a happy environment in which employees feel they are treated fairly.
It is also important to note that businesses should not assume that discrimination will not occur if everyone is treated the same. The law may include employers treating certain individuals differently, so it is essential for managers to be on top of this.
Do not play favourites – When it comes to supporting diversity and inclusion, it is crucial that employers do not play favourites and they must always be open to addressing any unconscious bias they may have.
The workforce should take steps to address any negative biases that limit opportunities or creativity. Recognising biases, or allowing others to call them out, means they are no longer unconscious and can be actioned on. To avoid these from happening, managers ought to take decisions on tasks at a pace that allows them to review and reflect, minimising the risk of bias or favouritism coming into play.
Report on diversity and inclusion data – Collecting data on gender, ethnicity, disability, and other characteristics will help identify any under-representation in the workplace.
This will provide employers with a better insight as to whom is being affected or excluded by business decisions. Ultimately, gathering, reporting, and acting on this data will provide the evidence to update priorities for action and provides a baseline for measuring progress.
Not to mention, this will also reassure employees that diversity and inclusion is something that the business takes into consideration and prioritises.
HR Caddy has always believed in getting to understand our clients’ businesses, their needs, and their culture first – especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
For more help or advice on these matters, please get in touch today.