How to make your workplace more inclusive
Inclusivity isn’t just an ethical benefit for your business. It can also be a practical one, too. Find out how to make your workplace more exclusive.
Creating a more inclusive workplace can pay dividends. If you’re looking to recruit from a broad talent pool, then you’ll have a better chance of finding the right candidate than if you recruit from a narrow one.
It might be that you’ve unwittingly turned away a star employee through a simple failure of policy. An inclusive workplace, moreover, is one where everyone is committed to pulling in the same direction, and working more effectively as a team.
Let’s look at some of the steps we might take to improve the sense of inclusivity in your business.
If you’re going to make your workplace a safe space for disabled workers, then you might need to make a few additions. Lifts, wheelchair ramps, braille signs and wide corridors might make life easier – but it can be difficult to modify an older building to accommodate these things. Other schemes, which extend beyond the premises and into the employee’s personal life, might make just as big a difference.
Include multi-language signage
If you’re running an international business, then it’s worth providing signage in multiple languages. Not only will this help everyone feel included, it’ll also minimise confusion.
Even if your business is local, you might find that many of your employees and customers benefit from having alternative signage available to them. Do your research, and determine whether your staff would benefit from the additional signage. In the process, you might help your staff to learn an additional language at the same time!
Braille signs fall into their own category. By definition, they need to be tactile, which means that you’ll be spending extra on plaques. If you want your workplace to be open to all, however, braille helps to send the required signals.
Cater to introverts
Not everyone in your business will be naturally outgoing and chatty. Some people won’t feel comfortable approaching their line managers directly about matters which concern them. Therefore, you might use mechanisms like suggestion boxes (digital and physical) to open up the lines of communication. A skilled HR manager will be able to persuade introverts to be more communicative.
Promote a healthy dialogue
Meetings can notoriously dull places to be – especially if they go on for hours and hours, and little of substance is ultimately decided. It’s therefore worth allotting a little bit of time for everyone to speak up about any issue – even if it’s a broader societal issue that has no direct impact on the workplace itself.
While there are some hot topics that are best avoided, it’s worth getting into the habit of raising difficult issues. That way, when there’s a relevant matter to discuss, people will feel comfortable speaking up about it.