Building an inclusive workplace means more than improving diversity in hiring and promotion. It means creating an environment where employees of different backgrounds feel valued and heard. This requires a sincere effort from management, and not all business owners have the information they need to foster inclusion successfully.
Fortunately, you can take steps to create an inclusive work setting, and you can expect to see many benefits from following these steps. Considering the needs and input of all employees can help you boost morale, improve productivity, and avoid EPLI claims.
Strategies for Building an Inclusive Workplace
If you are wondering how to foster inclusion, listening and learning are good places to start. Getting input from experts and employees creates a comprehensive picture of where your needs lie and which steps you must take.
Develop Active Listening Skills
Employees need to feel comfortable asking questions. They can only develop that comfort if they know their supervisors and human resources representatives listen. It may be tempting to deliver pat responses or skirt around questions, especially when addressing controversial topics or discussing a matter during meetings. However, it is essential to truly listen and understand employee concerns.
Train Your Staff
Never assume that managerial employees already know what inclusion means. They may not have had any training before joining your company and may not have familiarized themselves with inclusive practices on their own. Have qualified presenters train your staff to ensure everyone understands how to foster inclusion. The process runs more smoothly when everyone is on the same page.
Think ahead to any issues that may make some staff members feel excluded from company events or that may create discomfort in the workplace. Do your staff meetings accommodate remote workers in different time zones? Do your holiday parties include people on different schedules and from different cultures? Does the office have private spaces for nursing mothers and staff with daily medical needs? Planning for these circumstances in advance lets your staff know you care about them as individuals, not just as employees.
Set Inclusion Goals
Work with employees from different departments to develop specific and measurable inclusivity goals. Form a plan for implementing these measures and monitor your team’s progress. Consider using anonymous staff surveys to collect data on climate and inclusivity, making sure workers in all departments and levels have an opportunity to participate.
Business owners have the power to foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace for all staff. High-quality training, measurable and specific goals, and thoughtful planning go a long way toward making everyone feel heard. If you have questions about your role in promoting diversity and inclusion in your workplace, reach out to your EPLI provider for advice.
About Provident Protection Plus
At Provident Protection Plus, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 60 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.