With the Black Lives Matter movement surging across the globe, businesses should take the impetus to look within at how they deal with inclusion within the work environment. To ensure full employee satisfaction and increases in performance any barriers around inclusion should be removed and a fully inclusive work environment embraced.
The CIPD defines inclusion as “where people’s differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work. An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances”.
This blog gives some top tips on how a business can start to review whether it is encouraging inclusiveness with an “inclusion audit” of the business:
- Is the culture of your business geared towards inclusion?
A factor in this is whether being ‘different’ is seen as a positive or negative within your business. A culture should be fostered that encourages individual differences and ensures that employees understand that they all have a role in creating an inclusive environment. Employees should feel confident and encouraged to challenge exclusionary behavior.
- Do policies and practices support inclusion?
Review your business policies to understand whether they are geared towards encouraging and creating an inclusive workplace. Setting out expected behavior is the bedrock to building it in practice.
- Are Senior Leadership championing inclusion?
Senior leadership should lead by example. Reviewing how they role model behavior is the first step to ensuring a positive message on inclusion is filtered down into the workforce. Leadership behavior will significantly influence the workforce culture.
- Unconscious bias?
Consider how unconscious bias can play a role in opportunities employees are given at work. Awareness of this bias can be raised both through a review of recruitment and promotion data and through training courses to upskill management.
Clover HR has successfully run courses looking at unconscious bias to promote awareness of this phenomenon, to upskill management and encourage self-reflection. Providing such tools is valuable to combat the negative effects on unconscious bias and has produced successful results.
- Do you provide opportunities for feedback?
Understanding of issues and how to solve them cannot happen through a single lens. Views from all levels of the workforce are needed to see where there are failings in inclusion and where positive cultural changes are happening more slowly. Without an open dialogue on the issues members of your workforce are facing, the business will not be able to put action in place to solve these problems.
If you would like further guidance or support on workplace diversity and inclusivity or require advice on other people management matters please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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