Ask the Expert
Each month, we’ll tackle one of those burning questions that keeps you awake at night or causes heartburn during the day. Our team of experts will help you stay in the know. We’ll give you the information and answers you need to your questions about recruiting trends, legislation, workplace issues and more.
How can I make our workplace more inclusive?
Last month we tackled DEI from a legal standpoint and how to ensure you are attracting a diverse candidate pipeline. We discussed processes and procedures to reduce or eliminate bias in your hiring process. This month we tackle the question of how to have an inclusive workplace that welcomes DEI candidates and makes them feel valued and safe.
Why is this important? Underrepresented groups (gender, race/ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ+, and those with disabilities) are reporting poorer experiences at work. Ethnic minorities say they have been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. Workers who identify as disabled feel they are restricted from career progression opportunities. LGBTQ+ employees report being bullied or undermined at work. Women have experienced colleagues taking sole credit for shared efforts.
You may feel this isn’t happening in your organization. Yet, many of these experiences are not reported. These employees are either leaving or suffering in silence. As leaders in your organization, it’s important to recognize and address poor treatment as well as put practices in place that ensure all employees feel safe and valued.
Here are three things you can do to ensure your workplace is inclusive: 1. Start by collecting the data to understand the current state of inclusion in your organization. Look at attrition rates by group, diversity in leadership, and diversity in candidates. Conduct surveys and focus groups to gather data directly from your team.
2. Use that data in decision-making. It is crucial to know where your organization is doing well, and where it needs to improve.
3. Create an action plan to correct the issues. Track and measure progress. Remember, you can’t manage or improve what you can’t measure. Things to consider in your action plan include:
Provide unconscious bias training that defines what inclusion is and how it is practiced in a workplace that values it.
Hold inclusive meetings that provide materials and questions to be discussed in advance allowing time for everyone to prepare. Make sure to engage remote workers. Actively discourage interruptions and “mansplaining.” Rotate meeting times to include team members in different time zones.
Create mentoring programs to connect each employee with a relevant mentor based on their goals, experiences, and preferences.
Design job postings with gender-neutral language to ensure you are engaging with all candidates.
Build interview panels of diverse stakeholders – not just race or gender, but diverse backgrounds, neurodiversity, and more.
Implement Employee Resource Groups to tap into employee sentiment and understand how ideas made up top unfold on the front lines.
Workplace inclusion challenges can be solved. Your organization’s leadership must ensure they are driving systemic change. HR can help by putting strong data measurement processes in place and setting targets that are shared from top to bottom to create accountability, transparency, and trust. DEI and workplace inclusion are very complicated and detailed topics with many variables. Yet it is also a very important topic to know and understand. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with your DEI workplace initiatives. Contact us at email@example.com or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to speak with one of our experts.