The benefit of having a diverse workforce has been widely proven; diverse companies have high performing teams, high employee engagement, low turnover, and increased access to talent. As a result, most companies already have some type of recruiting practice that attracts and encourages candidates from different backgrounds to apply.
Once you have a diverse team, it's crucial to have an inclusive workplace. In this context, inclusion is an organizational-wide, active and intentional, change process that celebrates uniqueness, and makes everyone feel comfortable to share their differences.
An inclusive workplace usually:
Displays an authentic recognition culture
Allows decision making at all levels
Fosters honest communication and feedback among all levels
Enables everyone to grow and succeed
Retains staff from all backgrounds
Has policies and practices that support diversity
Lives its core values when it comes to promoting, terminating, and hiring staff members
Hires candidates based on what they have to add to its culture (rather than hiring applicants who are a "good fit")
Where Do I Start?
Develop common language: What does Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) mean at your company?
Describe your D&I vision: How does it look to be diverse? How does it feel to be included?
Explore how your organization deals with disagreements and suggestions: Is everyone heard and taken seriously? Do people become defensive when someone voices a concern or disagreement?
Host focus groups and listening sessions: Does everyone feel you are inclusive? How does it feel to be different at your company?
Train your leaders to be culturally competent
Develop an ownership and accountability culture
Develop a D&I strategy that is based on your own needs. Measure your progress, and communicate your achievements along the way