Diversity and inclusion need at be at the core of your organizational culture. How do you get there? And how do you stay there over time?
Start your organizational journey to lasting diversity and inclusion by having those sometimes difficult conversations about inequities, racism, and related issues in your workplace. Then prepare to do the hard work to create lasting change.
Answers to a few questions will help take you where you need to go:
- Do any of your employees feel that they have to hide who they are? Whether it’s a woman who hides her pregnancy, a Muslim worker who is worried about doing his daily prayer routine where colleagues might see him, or a Spanish-speaking employee who feels the need to only speak English, this creates an unhealthy workplace. When people feel that they have to deny the essence of who they are, it hurts motivation, engagement, and retention. It can even lead to depression and anxiety.
- Does your executive team portray diversity and inclusion? It is essential to have diversity among your top management. At least one survey showed that among Fortune 500 companies, only 24 CEOs are women, just three are Black, and three openly gay. You can’t force your company to have a diverse leadership, but you can help your executives communicate with workers authentically and with transparency.
- Do you acknowledge and honor multiple religious and cultural practices? Start by focusing on holidays and celebrations. For instance, instead of just giving everyone Christmas Day off, consider floating holidays to accommodate workers’ religious beliefs.
- Do you foster a company culture where everyone is welcome, heard, and respected? Do everything possible to make employees feel free to express themselves regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical condition, cultural background, and/or country of origin. Consider investing in a workforce communications platform that enables you to provide a personalized employee experience and connect with everyone on their preferred platform.
A few steps you can take include:
- Open a dialogue about gender pay inequality.
- Welcome a multi-lingual workforce.
- Foster diverse thinking.
- Build a multigenerational workforce.
- Make sure everyday gatherings and workplace events reflect everyone’s needs and preferences.