Fostering Inclusivity in the Workplace
Inclusivity is a big buzzword these days. It seems like all workplaces and organizations are striving to be inclusive, which is great! However, to truly foster inclusivity in the workplace, some important elements must be present:
The leadership in the workplace should set the tone of an inclusive workplace culture. This sort of culture is created through open communication, acceptance of others and showing genuine interest in employees as whole people, not just workers.
This inclusive culture can be fostered in part by planning social days where employees can learn more about one another and their diverse backgrounds. In addition, the workplace culture should accommodate all employee’s religious celebrations equally. The workplace must also treat employee’s personal relationships equally, celebrating anniversaries and unions of heterosexuals and LGBTQ+ employees alike.
To create a truly inclusive workplace, training and education must be a priority. Diversity and inclusivity training can help employees learn what the organization’s expectations of behaviour and language are in a safe place. Education can also help dispel myths and misunderstandings about many different topics.
During education programs, employees should be taught to use inclusive language. This means using terms like “partner” instead of assuming that a married person has a husband or wife. Training can also include learning respectful words or terms that staff members prefer to be used when referring to their background or orientation.
Creating an inclusive workplace is a long road that can be difficult at times. However, it is well worth it to know that all employees feel comfortable and at-ease in the workplace.
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