Communication is key
Inclusion is developed in the little things. One important key to creating an inclusive place to work is to ensure the communication channels between upper leadership and their teams is clear and open so concerns can be raised effectively.
To feel comfortable at work, people of all position levels should feel as if they can easily make their voice heard without repercussions.
If your company has a large calendar, digital or otherwise, be sure to acknowledge and mark calendar holidays from all religions and cultures, regardless of whether or not the day is observed. Consider observing holidays that support activism and inclusion such as Juneteenth, which was just recently deemed a federal holiday in the US.
Get to know different cultural customs around celebrations of birthdays, weddings, and bereavement so that you can appropriately offer congratulations or condolences to your teammates.
It’s easy to default to jargon and acronyms when you get comfortable in your industry and around the people you work with, especially when you share the same native tongue. However, this can be challenging for those who have a first language other than English.
It’s a good practice to make sure that your language is clear, and concise, and there isn’t any room open for interpretation where something could get misconstrued. Opting for gender-neutral terms when referring to a group of people or referring to people you do not know as “they” removes room for error.
It’s also not a bad idea to make company-wide efforts to deepen language learning practices to include different cultural backgrounds of team members or those you may often work with who live overseas and speak different languages.
Inclusive hiring practices
Make your efforts more inclusive right from the start by ensuring that your site is accessible to all. Consider people of different abilities levels when building your site or creating job listings. Also, make sure that your job description accurately reflects your inclusion practices and stance on diversity to attract talent with the same values.
Using rubrics to fairly evaluate potential candidates removes unintentional biases that might work against your desire to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. If you are unsure of how to do this, it’s not a bad idea to hire someone who is an expert in this field to offer advice.
To reiterate, inclusion is in the small stuff that happens day-to-day. It might not seem like it directly contributes to the company’s bottom line, but when you have a workforce who feels at home at their job and they feel valued as individuals, you will see the positive results all around.
There is no better time than now to make your work environment more welcoming.
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