How to Promote Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in The Workplace
Creating a safe, inclusive and productive space for your entire team is more than writing a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. In this article we’re sharing 11 tips that will help you to promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace.
1. Foster Psychological Safety
We’ve talked before about the importance of fostering psychological safety, but it’s particularly important when it comes to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Creating a space where all your people feel safe and welcome regardless of their identity will help you hire and retain the best and most diverse talent, but it will also help you create a successful and productive workforce.
2. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is important for everyone’s mental health, but it can be particularly important for people of marginalised identities. If you’re looking to promote diversity AND inclusion within your workplace, you’ll need to ensure that your culture supports a healthy work life balance for everyone.
3. Model Inclusivity
It’s really important that HR and leadership teams model inclusivity. This may include sharing your pronouns with your team and in email footers, being open and honest about mental health, and setting clear boundaries for your paid time off.
4. Understand Your Team’s Identities
Although not everyone will be ready to be “out” at work, there are identities which will be obvious to you. As an HR person or leader, take the time to understand what it means to be a person of colour, a working mother, a blind person or a wheelchair user to the individuals in your team. In larger teams employee surveys are key to understanding how your people really think and feel.
5. Signpost Relevant Policies & Support Clearly
Once you’ve understood your team’s identities, you’ll have a clearer idea of what support and policies they may need. However, you may not be aware of all their identities, and they may change. For this reason it’s key to clearly signpost all the policies and support available to your team.
6. Listen To Your Team
As well as regular DE&I surveys, always-on listening is key to understanding how your people are thinking and feeling in the moment. This will allow you to be more agile in how you support your team. Using an always-on listening tool such as our Employee Voice survey is great for this, but shouldn’t replace regular catch ups with managers.
7. Provide Learning Opportunities
Help your entire team to grow and understand each other through regular learning opportunities. These could include things like organised cognitive bias training, informal conversations with peers, or access to books or other resources. This will help your whole team support and value each other.
8. Diversify Social Events & Socialising
Make sure you’re planning social events that include everyone. Making sure not everything revolves around alcohol is important as often people feel left out if they don’t feel comfortable going to the pub. Being respectful of everyone’s dietary preferences and allergies is also key!
9. Consider Your Rewards & Benefits Package
Is yours inclusive or is it designed around the needs of a white married male? There are simple things you can offer like flexible public holidays which can make a big difference. These schemes allow your team to take off the days most meaningful for them, rather than assuming everyone celebrates Christmas and Easter.
10. Normalise Personalisation
Every single person on your team is a unique individual, whether they identify with any specific identity. Normalise personalised workstation set up, gender neutral customisable uniforms or protective equipment, and flexible hours. These will all help everyone feel like they fully belong in your workplace.
11. Respond to Feedback
If your team approaches you with feedback or suggestions, try not to be defensive but come to a solution. Not all feedback or suggestions are applicable, but explaining why or coming to a compromise can make people understand they’re being listened to and taken seriously.
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