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Fostering Inclusivity in the Workplace

Date Published:
April 30, 2024
Workplace Culture
employee experience
Workplace

Employers prioritize fostering inclusivity in the workplace to achieve a positive work environment and satisfying work relationships. Inclusion is the basis for providing fulfilling employee experiences throughout the entirety of the employee lifecycle, as it grants fair treatment and equal access to support and resources. 

Work environments characterized by inclusivity witness more staff satisfaction and employee fulfillment, leading to higher levels of creativity, innovation, and productivity. So, what does inclusivity refer to exactly? What are the benefits of fostering inclusivity at work? And how can it be achieved?

What is Workplace Inclusivity?

An inclusive workplace is characterized by respectful and fair treatment towards all employees regardless of their differences, which include differences in race, ethnicity, religion, physical abilities, gender, and socio-economic status, among others. 

An inclusive workplace provides equal access to growth opportunities, resources, and support for all employees, no matter their personal traits, beliefs, or backgrounds. Consequently, fostering inclusivity in the workplace focuses on valuing employees based on their performance, abilities, skills, experience, and contribution to the organization. Valuing employees based on such professional traits is the key to merit-based inclusion. 

Fairness and inclusivity create a sense of belonging for employees, resulting in a more positive work culture and employee experience. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction. Practicing inclusivity ensures no bias or discrimination takes place at work and that all employees are treated equally, fairly, and respectfully.

Benefits of Fostering Inclusivity at Work

An inclusive work environment brings forth various benefits to employees and business owners, achieving growth on the individual level and accomplishing desired business outcomes and goals for organizations. 

Employees in inclusive work environments demonstrate increased productivity, creativity, and innovation. They also show greater care and passion for their jobs, a stronger sense of workplace connection, and better commitment, resulting in elevated levels of satisfaction, engagement, and performance. This translates into enhanced customer relations and customer satisfaction.

Fostering inclusivity at work also leads to better mental health and emotional well-being and stronger team dynamics. An inclusive environment has a great impact on retaining employees and reducing turnover, which minimizes training costs and time and maintains institutional knowledge, keeping customer satisfaction at a high level. 

How to Foster Inclusivity in Work Environments

Fostering inclusivity at work is a game changer, as it drives higher levels of innovation, creativity, and productivity. And it can be done in the following ways: 

  • Fostering an Inclusive Work Culture

Employers can establish inclusive work environments by fostering inclusive work cultures that promote certain values, norms, and behaviors, such as active listening, empathy, collaboration, and respect. 

This ensures that employees feel comfortable and safe enough to communicate their thoughts, opinions, concerns, and feedback without worrying about getting judged, attacked, or discriminated against. 

It is also important to address any behaviors that cause the opposite effects within the work culture. When fostering inclusivity, employers need to handle exclusionary and discriminatory behaviors properly whenever they arise, preventing their normalization and keeping the employee experience positive. 

  • Implementing Inclusive Practices and Policies 

Inclusivity should be governed, regulated, and maintained through practical policies and practices. They should align with the company's goals, vision, and mission, and they should attend to the various processes taking place at work.

To set up the practices your company needs the most, start by reviewing and updating the following processes: recruitment, hiring, promotion, compensation, performance, and development. When doing so, keep an eye out for any room for improvement that can make these processes more fair, transparent, and inclusive. 

  • Training Employees

It is worth noting that fostering inclusivity is not limited to managers and business owners; it is rather a responsibility for all employees. Each one of them has a role to play in making the work environment inclusive and the employee's experience positive, and this is where training comes in.

Efficient training promotes inclusivity among employees by spreading awareness about the behaviors and attitudes that may have negative effects on inclusivity. The training should touch on topics like microaggression and unconscious bias to promote an inclusive work culture and put it into practice. 

  • Training Managers

Achieving inclusivity is a collective effort that all employees play a vital role in. However, managers tend to have more of an impact on creating inclusivity due to their responsibilities.

Employers who want to have inclusive work environments should train managers on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to deepen their understanding of the significance of inclusivity and its impact on employees' well-being, performance, and team dynamics. Training should also further develop key skills like active listening and conflict resolution. 

  • Generate Feedback

Collecting feedback from employees is vital to fostering inclusivity. Stay connected to your employees and their experiences by providing them with the right surveys and creating an open space for feedback. You can utilize ZENITHR’s well-being surveys and 360° feedback and 180° feedback assessments to gain valuable insights. 

ZENITHR is an excellent HR solution for employers looking for tools to enhance the employee experience and satisfaction. Powered by AI to provide you with action plans and recommendations, ZENITHR is the right platform for you. Explore Zenithr now for more information.

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