Diversity and inclusion are important parts of today’s organizations. Even though both of these terms have been used interchangeably by a lot of people, both of the terms have very distinct meanings. Diversity refers to the respect and acceptance people should have for the differences that people possess. On the other hand, inclusion refers to the efforts that are made to include all the people and treating them equally despite the background that they belong to. It is important to understand that there is no diversity without inclusion which is why both of these concepts should go hand in hand with each other. However, despite having an international workforce and knowing the importance that diversity and inclusion play in the firms, there are so many organizations around the world that still do not include this concept in their operations. This happens mostly because they do not have the right means to do so and neither are, they able to execute it properly. Hence, the following are some of the practices that the firms struggling with including diversity and inclusion can make use of to implement it in their organization in the best possible manner. This will not only help keep the employees happy but would also have a positive impact on the revenue that they earn.
- Educate Managers
More than the upper management, the managers that are working in a firm have a direct association with the employees. They are the ones who have to take care of everything and ensure that the tasks and responsibilities are effectively delegated to them. Since there is such close contact of both the parties daily, the managers would have to be trained well so that they can handle their diverse workforce effectively and without any problems. This training would go a long way to resolve any issues that could come up as a result of the diversity among people. Hence, the first step to ensuring diversity and inclusion in an organization is to educate and train the managers well about the same.
- Rethink Workplace Policies
Certain organizations are extremely stubborn about how they would formulate their policies and strategies. However, this is something that needs to change if a firm wants to include diversity and inclusion in their system. This is because without appropriate workplace policies all of that the firm does would fail. Firms would have to ease their hiring process in terms of hiring a much more diverse population, they would have to ensure that both men and women are being paid the same amount and that there is no gender discrimination in that respect. They would also have to consider giving holidays on the days of important festivals of the people belonging to different cultures. All of this would automatically create a diverse and inclusive workforce in the firm.
- Celebrate Differences
The only way people in an organization would feel happy and comfortable if the differences that they have been celebrated rather than judged. It is said that one of the easiest ways to respect an employee’s differences is by making sure that they can embrace it in the firm without feeling guilty about it. Hence, it is the responsibility of the organization to come up with ways through which people can showcase their culture and differences and yet get the feeling of being included. Some of the ways that could be adopted by the firm could include, having potluck parties where people bring food from the culture that they belong to so that they can share it with other people in the firm. Recognizing and celebrating days that are important to other communities would also go a long way in showing how well they are respected. Involving people in the decision-making process despite their background would also help the employees in knowing that they are valued and care for. There could be some employees belonging to a race or class which has been discriminated against for a long time, the firm should aim at giving these employees a platform where they can voice their concerns and opinions and bring people together to ensure that it does not repeat in the future.
- Create a Sense of Belonging
To perform well and give the firm all that one has; they must first feel a sense of belonging towards the same. For this to happen, an individual must feel a sense of connection with the people around him. This is because people are the ones who make the environment of the firm. This is why not only the management but the employees of the firm would also have to work on providing a diverse and inclusive environment for people who have come from different backgrounds. Also, the firm would have to understand that creating a sense of belongingness within the employees takes time because of which they would have to ensure that they start early and be consistent with the efforts that they put in with their employees.
- Inclusion is an Ongoing Process
Unlike what the firms like to believe, inclusion is an ongoing process that goes on continuously and does not have a definitive end. Therefore, it would not be just enough to teach employees and managers about what inclusion is and how it should be undertaken. They would have to make sure that they practice the same days to get to a point where nobody discriminates against anybody and that acceptance flows through naturally. Inclusion and diversity have to have become a habit and not a one-time task. With time the employees would also be able to learn about different skills that they would be able to use in this respect to ensure that nobody is left out of the organization and that everyone feels at home. This is the only way through which a firm would be able to implement both diversity and inclusion in their system.
Diversity and inclusion can provide several benefits to a firm which is why they should be implemented effectively by the management in the same.
About Rennie Curran
Rennie Curran is a keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Game Changer Coaching. His mission is to empower individuals, teams, and organizations by delivering powerful presentations, workshops, and private coaching on topics such as leadership, performance, and personal branding. He obtained his Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Georgia and received his coaching certification through the Life Purpose Institute. Visit renniecurran.com for more information.