How to Improve Inclusion in the Workplace
8 Ways to Improve Workplace Inclusion in 2023
Follow these strategies to implement a DEI policy that helps all of your employees feel supported and respected in the workplace.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) remain top of mind for many businesses — and for good reason. Every employee should feel safe, comfortable, and appreciated when coming to work.
In 2023, here are eight ways your business can improve workplace inclusion using innovative technology, transparent communication, and shifting perceptions.
Promote diversity through workplace policies
Review the current policies in place at your business and consider ways they may be outdated. Think about who might be harmed or targeted by those policies as well as who may benefit from them.
As for implementing new policies, bring transparency into your job listings: Provide honest, thorough descriptions as well as a clear salary demarcation. When reviewing applicants, have an HR representative first remove any names and ethnic or religious identifiers for a more equitable hiring decision.
Offer diverse opportunities
For work, fun, and volunteering, give your employees the gift of choice. For work, allow your employees to choose to work from home, have flexible hours, or work from a different location. When planning team-building exercises or volunteer outings, gather your team’s input first. Send out a survey to see what types of activities they are comfortable with and interested in doing. Once you have a handful of varying options, allow your team members to vote on what they would prefer to do.
Use employee management apps that promote diversity
Your team may already use an employee management or communication app, but consider switching to one that was designed with diversity and inclusion in mind. Some apps can integrate diversity policy training and surveys for feedback on how your company is handling diversity and inclusion initiatives. If you aren’t ready to switch to a whole new employee management app, set up a channel for diversity and inclusion conversations.
Everyone at your company — including yourself — should complete diversity, equity, and inclusion training regularly.
Educate managers about inclusion
To make sure you successfully incorporate diversity and inclusion into your office’s day-to-day operations, train all of your managers in your best practices. Your managers should not only understand the concepts, but they should also understand the importance and benefits of embracing diversity in the workplace. If they are just going through the motions because you tell them to, your employees will be able to feel that disharmony.
Create a mentorship program
Instituting a mentorship program at your company goes the extra mile of ensuring every employee can feel supported and informed as they move along their career path. The necessity of a mentorship program can also encourage you to make sure your senior employees and upper management include a variety of backgrounds so every mentee can find their perfect match. Mentorship is the most meaningful when a mentee can feel understood by their mentor.
Offer diversity training to address implicit biases
Everyone at your company — including yourself — should complete diversity, equity, and inclusion training regularly. Whether we know it or not, everyone is inclined to their own personal implicit biases, and diversity training can help your team realize and dismantle those biases. The best way to complete this type of training is to bring in outside experts to lead them. If bringing in a live speaker is not in your budget, many social justice and diversity experts also offer prerecorded webinars at a lower price point.
Communicate DEI goals
By expressing your DEI goals to everyone, you’ll ensure your employees know your intentions even before you are able to meet those goals. Along with appreciating the efforts, your employees may feel inspired to become directly involved in making your workplace a more accepting place for all. You can also find ways to incorporate your DEI goals into daily operations, so your employees can see this is a genuine effort and not a one-off attempt.
You can measure your efforts to better incorporate diversity through regular check-ins with your team members and getting an Equal Opportunity Employer approval from the Federal EEOC, but remember that diversity and inclusion initiatives aren’t something you can cross off your to-do list. True diversity and inclusion are ongoing efforts that adjust to your team and the world around us.
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.