Inclusivity in the working world has always been important, but it’s starting to gain more attention than ever. Whether you’re trying to recruit new employees or retain existing ones, building an inclusive company culture will lead to growth, employee loyalty and greater production overall.
As a business leader, it’s normal to think about your bottom line and what’s being done to impact it. If you’re not making a steady profit, you’re not going to grow.
However, if you’re not thinking about your employees more than that bottom line, you’re doing them, yourself and your business a great disservice. Let’s cover a few ways you can create an inclusive company culture and positive work environment. Doing so can lead to easier hiring practices and more top talent wanting to work for your business.
Communication is a key component of every successful relationship, including the relationship between employers and employees. It can be uncomfortable at first to break the ice between senior leadership and employees, but that’s exactly why it’s so important. When you actively communicate with your employees, you show everyone that they matter. You encourage team-building, boost employee morale and celebrate diversity.
There are countless ways to encourage communication within your company, including employee appreciation events, company-wide lunches, happy hours and volunteer events.
It can also benefit you to have weekly department chats or involve yourself in teams working on specific projects. When you get involved, it encourages others who are working closely to really get to know each other, no matter their differences or backgrounds. When everyone feels more comfortable around each other, the flow of that department will increase, and they’ll be more productive. They’ll also be more organized and willing to step into roles that fit their skills and talents.
Support Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups are voluntary, employee-led groups that give your staff a chance to bond and solidify the culture at your company. These groups can focus on whatever they choose — they only need buy-in and support from executives and management. Common ERGs include groups for working parents, women and BIPOC or LGBTQ+ employees. Once you facilitate and encourage them, ERGs may begin forming on their own accord, and employees can tackle important issues or simply carve out a space to get to know each other and share interests.
The key is to listen to your ERGs. Let them know you value their feedback about company culture and ask for their input. Let them know they can discuss and provide feedback concerning any aspect of your company’s operations. Encourage positive engagement in ERGs by implementing changes based on their feedback. Since any employee can join an ERG and make their voice heard, this is an excellent way to foster inclusivity.
Make Your Company a Safe Space
When someone is considering taking a job at your company, they’re going to do their research. They’ll look online at employee reviews, and they might even contact one or two of your existing employees to ask about the work environment.
If your workplace culture is toxic and doesn’t promote inclusivity, you could be missing out on extremely talented and diverse individuals. Establishing a positive culture is easier than you might think when you know what to avoid. Make sure there are boundaries within the workplace, work on fostering trust and support employee growth for everyone.
When it comes to inclusivity, safe spaces can be a major draw for minorities or marginalized groups. Many companies offer things like gender-neutral restrooms, prayer spaces and quiet work areas designed for people who might feel overwhelmed or overstimulated working in an open office with others all day.
When those prospective employees see that your company prioritizes the safety and well-being of its employees, they’ll be more likely to jump on board and tell others about the culture. You undoubtedly spend a lot of time marketing your business to your clients and customers. Why not put the same dedication into marketing your inclusivity efforts to those looking for a new career?
From your employee benefits to hiring practices, you can promote inclusivity and build a positive company culture at every turn. Doing so will lead to happier, more comfortable employees — and positive growth in the future.