DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) is a key issue for most modern organizations, providing a healthy mix of perspectives that can lead to smarter business decisions. But that doesn't mean all you need to do is hire people of different genders, nationalities and ethnicities. Diversity is only one part of the DEI trio. While a lot has been said about diversity and equity, some confusion remains around what it means to be inclusive. At the same time, 80% of workers think it's an important factor in choosing an employer, according to Deloitte.
To help foster a supportive and inclusive company culture, let's take a look at what it is, the workplace benefits and how you can achieve it.
What does inclusivity really mean?
At its core, an inclusive workplace is one in which employees of all identities, experiences and backgrounds feel equally welcomed and valued. Unlike diversity and equity, which you can quantitatively measure, inclusivity is more subjective. However, its absence or presence can have considerable impacts on everything from how employees work together to your organization's overall performance and decision-making.
How does inclusivity benefit the workplace?
Employees are attracted to inclusive employers because they feel like they can be their true selves at work. But these diverse and supportive environments can also have significant benefits for businesses and their stakeholders. In fact, research from Colverpop indicates that inclusive companies leverage a broader array of perspectives to:
- Make better business decisions 87% of the time.
- Increase decision-making time by 2X.
- Achieve better team results by 60%
Outside of hard data, an inclusive company culture has far-reaching personal benefits for employees and leadership. Not only are these types of workplaces more conducive to building trust, but they also create mutual understanding and respect for one another. And without biases such as favoritism or nepotism, employees will feel equally valued and appreciated, motivating them to work harder.
How to foster an inclusive and a supportive environment
Here are three simple steps you can take to develop and deliver an inclusive experience:
- Assess the current culture: Whenever you're making changes that impact workers, it's always a good idea to ask them for ideas and feedback on how you can improve the workplace. Anonymous surveys might also help employees feel more free to speak up.
- Implement feedback: Use the information you gather to start making real changes. Update your policies with clear expectations and ensure accountability.
- Lead by example: Management and leadership must act as visible models for respectful, inclusive practices. You can even offer regular training and education to prevent or address problematic behavior.
If you're looking for a C-suite leader who can help create an inclusive environment from the top down, YES Partners is here to help.
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