The working world is very different to how it was a decade ago, and that’s not necessarily bad, either. People change, so why shouldn’t businesses? In one way or another, we evolve.
Going into 2023, Diversity and Inclusion are still a hot topic for many business leaders. A business’ stance on having a diverse and inclusive working culture is a deciding factor for 83% of job applicants*.
People love diversity. As the saying goes, if you and everyone else were the same, life would be very dull. There are many benefits to diversifying the workplace: from immersing yourself in different cultures and having a larger talent pool to having new ideas and perspectives that may ultimately help your business grow.
Here are five simple steps a business can take to welcome inclusivity in the workplace.
1) Review Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Policies
Businesses having an up-to-date DE&I policy encourages a more welcoming atmosphere and drive employee engagement. From an employee perspective, having a DE&I policy that reflects them allows them to experience a sense of belonging within the company and feel a sense of pride for their employer, as they are a champion of diversity. There is also a direct correlation between the growth of diversity and an increase in sales revenue for the company, with a growth of anywhere between 3% to 9%**. In one way or another, diversity helps promote business growth.
2) Share Resources
Educating yourself, and your employees, are the best way to create a more inclusive workplace. Charities like Stonewall, Black Minds Matter and Equally Ours have plenty of resources and workshops that employees and business owners may find beneficial. Education is the key to progress.
Don’t be afraid to share news articles, interesting blog posts, or updates from DE&I charities in your Slack or Teams channels. These resources will also allow for productive conservations surrounding DE&I and may even motivate further business growth.
3) Be Aware
Making sure the business follows its DE&I policies is a team effort: employees should stay vigilant for micro-aggressions, discrimination and unconscious bias against other colleagues. There are several ways to approach this: one-to-one meetings, company-wide meetings, (un)anonymous surveys. Highlighting these issues can help businesses develop a strategy to tackle them. Also, it’s valuable for employers to stay abreast of the latest news on the Equality Act, as this can help with the upkeep of a business’ DE&I policies.
4) Celebrate All Holidays and Events
Not everyone celebrates Christmas, nor does everyone celebrate Hanukkah or Eid-Al-Fidr. To celebrate and recognise each holiday in the workplace is to also celebrate diversity. Some ways to do so is to introduce flexible PTO when these holidays are based on lunar movements or even decorate the office. With events like Pride and Black History Month, bring in speakers, run workshops, or even consider partnering with a charity. Make it clear that within the business, every person is celebrated.
5) Focus on Employee Retention
The challenge of maintaining an inclusive culture is ensuring that the company retains their diverse workforce. If a company doesn’t act on its diversity policies, its employees will look elsewhere for a business that does. However, if the company frequently assesses their DE&I policies, ensuring each member of staff feels valued and has zero tolerance for discrimination, the likelihood of the employees staying increases. There is also the opportunity to diversify management from retained employees, which is a win for the company. Allowing people from underrepresented communities to succeed in management positions highlights their value within the company and, thus, will encourage more people to apply to the business, ultimately creating a continuous cycle of diversity and inclusion.
Start small. Progress never happens overnight, but taking the steps to empower diversity within the workplace is life-changing.
Sometimes, finding the right resources can be difficult. Here are some that we recommend:
Stonewall | https://www.stonewall.org.uk/
For the last thirty years, Stonewall has been working with LGBTQIA* across the globe. They have three dedicated workplace resources that can help your business, including:
Black Minds Matter | https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/
BMM UK focuses on ensuring that mental health resources and topics are relevant for black individuals.
- Useful Mental Health Contacts
- Understand Common Mental Health Problems
- #TimetoTalk: How to Encourage Conversations on Mental Health
Equally Ours | https://www.equallyours.org.uk/
Equally Ours aims to advance human and equality rights by connecting organisations with people.
Here are some resources:
Gee Stencel | They/Them
Strategic Operations Manager
* Why Recruiting a Diverse Workforce is Critical for Your Business, SurveyMonkey