In my last blog, I shared some of my experiences as an LGBTQ+ person and set out the case for investing in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Creating a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusivity takes intentional effort and ongoing commitment. D&I should be embedded in strategy, work plans, and individual staff objectives, and leaders should hold themselves accountable as they would for any other organisational priority.
Here are eight top actions to take to foster a positive workplace culture and encourage your team to do the same…
1 – Gather information – It can be difficult to know where to start and an important first step is understanding where you are now and where you want to be. Take time to understand good practice, review D&I data (e.g. representation of diverse groups at different levels), conduct focus groups with different staff groups and undertake engagement surveys.
2 – Make the case for D&I – Make it clear that diversity and inclusivity are important to your organisation and embed them in your core values. Make the case at every opportunity including through internal and external comms, policies, training, and everyday interactions.
3 – Develop knowledge and understanding – Provide ongoing training on diversity and inclusivity to all, including managers and executives. Include a focus on D&I in staff inductions, away days, team meeting discussions and one to ones.
4 – Recruit diverse talent – Actively seek out candidates from diverse backgrounds when hiring. This can be done through targeted outreach, partnerships with community organisations, and use of inclusive statements on job advertisements.
5 – Celebrate diversity – Create a diversity calendar and plan events and communications throughout the year to recognise key diversity dates. Be creative in showcasing the unique perspectives, stories and contributions of diverse employees.
6 – Create safe spaces – Create safe spaces where staff feel comfortable sharing their experiences and ideas. Staff networks can be very effective and here is a guide for getting started.
7 – Develop diverse talent – This can be done through training groups, mentorship programmes, and other initiatives that foster connection and support.
8 – Build D&I into governance – To ensure that you make real progress develop a D&I strategy or work plan, establish a D&I steering group with senior leadership representatives and agree targets and measurables.
Creating a positive workplace culture with diversity and inclusivity is essential for any business that wants to succeed. A truly inclusive workplace is one where everyone feels comfortable being themselves and expressing their opinions openly and respectfully. By creating an environment that encourages diverse perspectives and ideas, you can foster a sense of connection and belonging that is essential for building a strong team and achieving shared goals.
By embracing inclusivity and diversity, and implementing strategies to promote them, organisations can create an environment where individuals feel valued, supported, and motivated to do their best work.