1. Listen to your employees
Before working on improving your businesses culture, you must understand the culture you have now. What do you stand for? What are your values? How would your employees describe your culture?
To get an accurate picture of workplace inclusion, organisations need to think about employee perceptions of inclusion, as well as evaluating people management practices and line management capability.
Spend the time listening to employees from all levels in the business, from your leadership team down to your most recent hires. It’s key to ensure all voices are heard to give you the most transparent and honest view of your organisation’s culture, as it will feel different at varying levels of seniority.
When problems are identified internally, a commitment to changing this can vastly improve your workplace environment. Even the best company cultures have room for improvement.
Approaches to find out how inclusive your culture is:
- Run culture workshops and focus groups to help people collaborate on ideas
- Examine progression and hiring data in teams to ensure there’s a level playing field
- Start a culture committee which includes people from different teams, backgrounds etc.
- Create a bespoke survey to collect inclusion data
- Book in one-to-one meetings with a range of individuals in the business
The post-listening phase is all about taking action and analysing the data to identify actionable changes. For example, if your data shows that people from certain demographics do not progress at the same rate as others, investigate why this is and outline how this can be resolved. This could be solved by realigning the internal promotion processes to ensure it works for everyone.
Most leaders agree an inclusive workplace is important, however they might not truly understand inclusive workplace practises.
Workplace inclusion is when people feel valued and accepted in their team and in the wider organisation, without having to conform. To achieve this, leaders must practise inclusive leadership and be educated on how to manage diverse workgroups and the reasons why it’s crucial that their actions contribute to a more inclusive workplace. The behaviour of managers has a powerful impact on the workplace experience of all employees.
For example, if every social event is centred around going to the pub, you are always going to be excluding a proportion of your workforce who may not drink or have an interest in this type of activity. Similarly, if your team building events are always out of work hours, you may be excluding people who have childcare responsibilities.
Some ideas on how to educate the business:
- Training sessions that help employees understand and recognise unconscious bias
- Training tailored specifically to senior leadership and managers
- Official company policies communicated to the business