10 Practices You Can Start Today To Promote Better Inclusivity In Your Company

10 Practices You Can Start Today To Promote Better Inclusivity In Your Company

While many companies are looking to improve their efforts when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, it’s estimated that only 34% of companies currently have the resources to support those efforts. However, promoting better inclusivity in your company doesn’t have to immediately involve major staffing changes or expensive education programs. There are steps any business leader can take today that may not require any resources at all.

Here, business leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council list 10 of those steps and explain why these practices can have such an effect on your employees, your business and your overall company culture.

1. Get Vocal About Your Efforts

A great way to promote inclusivity in the company is by promoting inclusivity outside of the company. Be vocal about your inclusivity efforts through social media, career pages, company culture pages and wherever else it makes sense. This sets the precedent for everyone looking to join your team and everyone already a part of the team. It also keeps your organization accountable. However, make sure you practice what you’re preaching by ensuring that you are hiring with inclusivity in mind. You can do this by promoting jobs in underrepresented communities and making sure everyone at the organization feels safe and a part of the conversation to improve your company culture. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled

2. Involve Everyone In The Decision-Making Process

A business practice that will promote better inclusivity is to involve everyone in the decision-making process. As a leader, listening to everyone, including your employees, customers and all other stakeholders, can help you reach a better decision. In addition, I think that one should always put in a lot of effort to build an overall positive workplace atmosphere. Working in an atmosphere of great positive energy rubs off on the employees and increases their desire to improve and reach the company goals. If you can create such a positive environment for your employees, it will be much easier to include them in the company’s decision-making process. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

3. Start Asking Questions

One way to promote more inclusivity is to look for places where things are too homogeneous and start asking questions about why that is. To start asking these questions, you could run a focus group internally or run a focus group with your community or customer base. Look for ways to include as many different voices and types of people as possible, even if it’s uncomfortable to consider these criteria when selecting your participants. Make sure to compensate the participants and ask questions about how they feel about your efforts toward inclusivity. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume you know what you should do to be more inclusive. Instead, ask the people who may be feeling excluded what they would like to see you do differently. Then, listen and be humble about what you hear. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

4. Create A Safe Space For Deep Discussions

Create a safe area in the workplace where employees can talk about accommodation and diversity. Allow for discussions on how chronic conditions, implicit biases and prejudices can impact careers. Keep in mind the tolerance paradox, or that an area that is too tolerant will eventually be destroyed by the intolerant. Outline how the company will handle hate speech or insensitivity within a space or in conversation with co-workers. Schedule timeouts for arguments, and don’t be afraid to moderate. What’s more, aim for constant active listening. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

5. Subscribe To Relevant Newsletters

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Encourage your team members to subscribe to nonprofit company newsletters that talk about diversity, equity and inclusion. Some of my favorites include Checkr, a tech company that builds a fairer future to create opportunities for all; Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, which sends information on policy work in the state capital and how people can get involved with social justice issues; and UnCommon Law, a nonprofit organization in Northern California that helps prisoners with second chances at life. Our firm will take company field trips to learn more about the work these nonprofits do and how we can help individually and as a company. Not only does this build relationships in the workplace, but it also makes us feel like we are contributing to something bigger outside of work. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

6. Set Up DEI Training Programs For Staff

Set up training programs for team members specifically geared toward inclusivity. For some folks, adopting an inclusive and diverse mindset is by no means a no-brainer; it needs to be learned. There are plenty of training courses available on LinkedIn regarding inclusivity in the workplace. Take advantage of them. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

7. Establish A Clear Anti-Discrimination Policy

One business practice that can promote better inclusivity is having a clear and concise anti-discrimination policy. This policy should be easily accessible to all employees and should outline what type of behavior is not tolerated in the workplace. By having this policy in place, business leaders can send a strong message that discrimination will not be tolerated. This can help create a more inclusive environment for all employees. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

8. Remove Bias From The Hiring Process

Promoting inclusivity in the workplace starts with the hiring process. We all have an implicit bias, whether we like to admit it or not. Evolutionarily, we feel more comfortable with people who remind us of ourselves, which often translates into hiring near clones of ourselves. So if you’re looking to promote better inclusivity, you need to learn to look at applications objectively. A good way to do this is to review resumes anonymously and then conduct phone interviews with candidates before you sit down face-to-face so you can let applicants speak for themselves without your unconscious bias coming into play. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

9. Switch Up Your Teams

An easy change businesses can make that will cost nothing is mixing up teams. This may not be possible in all cases if a team has a specific function, like engineering, but it can be used for groups where people from different departments are involved or when there are several teams within a department. Employees may grumble about this at first because people like comfort zones; however, mixing up teams will both produce a dynamic effect and will also allow people to get to know others they may never speak to. Doing it every six months will help people expand their thinking as well as their office social circles. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

10. Treat People Like People

It’s easier to promote inclusivity at your company than you might think. The key is to treat people like individuals. We all have unique goals, strengths, weaknesses and experiences. No two people are exactly alike. You don’t have to spend tons of time and resources on inclusivity training and research if you follow this simple rule and make it the focal point of your company culture. We all want to be treated as individuals instead of a collective based on traits we can’t change. Treat people with respect, and earn respect. It’s that simple. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

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