Now more than ever it is crucial for organisations to prioritise diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and put inclusive work practices in place to provide for the retention and attraction of key talent and drive a culture of inclusiveness.
In our experience as HR consultants, we advocate promoting positive workplace cultures, which support employees from different backgrounds and cultures, employees who chose different sexual identities, neurodivergent employees and equally employees going through menopause, or those who have a disability.
Building inclusive workplaces will ensure all employees feel welcome coming to work but will equally help with employee retention and attraction.
How to Promote Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
Each employee has the power to call out inappropriate behaviour, one of the discriminatory behaviours which can undermine another employee’s right to feel included and safe while at work. So, what can organisations do to further cultivate this culture?
As HR professionals and consultants, we advise our clients to implement some or all of the following:
Reviewing and Amending Policies
From our experience as HR professionals, we promote and advocate the requirement to have best practice policies in place. Such policies should act as a compass for employees and managers alike on how to act while at work and provide the company’s position in ED&I (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion). A diversity and inclusion policy should be all-encompassing and should be made available to all employees at the induction stage and regular intervals throughout their employee journey.
The HR Suite can provide and offer support around policy design to help organisations foster and embed inclusiveness at work. We also have diversity and inclusion training available.
Be Conscious of Bias
Unconscious bias and stereotyping can be disablers of inclusive workplaces. There is an onus on all employers to provide regular training and education seminars to communicate and educate all employees on how to be conscious of bias, and the importance of self-awareness, as such biases, can influence our perception of people and make us act in unkind ways.
Re-Aligning Values to Inclusivity
Many organisations see a potential gap or opportunity to address, re-evaluate or introduce company values that speak to employees about the inclusive culture of organisations. Such values can include diversity, being people-centric, celebrating differences, and openness. The most important factor here is to “live” the values, management and leaders must identify how they are going to translate such values into everyday behaviours and actions, actions which shout about diversity and inclusion.
Implement a Calendar to Celebrate Diversity
Some organisations opt to put monthly or calendar events in place to celebrate employees from different employees, celebrate cultural events, menopause day or month, and recognise and celebrate PRIDE, to name a few. The HR Suite suggest selecting or nominating an employee or group of employees who will be “ambassadors” for such celebrations and drive the agenda of celebrating diversity.
Build Safe Places for All
Leaders and managers are responsible for driving the agenda of psychological safety in organisations on a daily. This means creating a workplace where everyone’s opinions and ideas are listened to, matter and considered. Concepts such as ‘employee feedback forums,’ ‘open door policies’ and ‘have your say’ are all small ways organisations can listen to their employees’ ideas or concerns.
It is now more prevalent than ever for organisations to revisit their recruitment practices to ensure that all employees are welcome to apply for the role. Key considerations such as reviewing application processes to make them more accessible for neurodivergent candidates, ensuring gender parity on interview panels, and using inclusive wording on job adverts are all examples of how organisations can adapt their recruitment practices.
Education & Training
The HR Suite are a huge advocate of HR training and development. In our experience, and from case law, organisations must protect themselves and employees through continuous education and training on areas such as dignity, respect, and inclusive language on how to live every day, act kindly, and live by acceptable behaviours that are aligned to values.
Fostering and embedding diverse and inclusive workplaces is an ever-evolving process, it is a journey and one that many organisations are starting to invest in full-time roles and departments to drive the agenda.
As HR professionals we are starting to observe a trend where organisations want to be more diverse and inclusive and recognise the benefits for all employees and equally for potential employees. The bottom line is that if employees feel safe to come to work, in an environment where they are treated with respect, then they will want to come to work every day.
Do You Want To Improve Your D&I Strategy?
The HR Suite provide best-practice HR consultancy and Training & Development solutions for organisations nationwide. The HR Suite pride itself on providing HR solutions such as policy creation and additional HR services in the areas of recruitment and employment law.
Our Learning & Development team specialise in designing and delivering best practice, up-to-date practical training solutions for organisations.
We offer many diversity & inclusion training solutions to meet your needs, from an umbrella Diversity & Inclusion training to stand-alone ‘bitesize’ courses on the following topics including neurodiversity to supporting our LGBT+ colleagues.
For further information on promoting transgender awareness in the workplace, there is a vast amount of information and practical insights on the TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland and on the LGBT websites which promote Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender inclusion and equality.
If you are looking to change your D&I strategy or improve current areas of it, then get in touch by filling out the contact form.