Building an Inclusive Culture in 3 Steps

by Jody Ordioni

Employees who feel they can vocalize their concerns within the company are five times more likely to perform any given task to the best of their capacity. Also, employees are four times more likely to stay with the same company if they feel that they are provided equal opportunities for growth. Unfortunately, only one-third of the companies surveyed are actively trying to make their space an inclusive one. Employees need to feel valued and heard for them to stick around. Inclusivity has to be embedded within the culture. It might seem like an ominous task; however, three basic steps can open the doors to an inclusive space.

Giving Space to Healthy Employee Relationships

The basis of any successful organization is to build healthy and vital employee resource groups. These groups often labeled as “equality groups”. These equality groups are not just low-tier groups; rather, these are a cluster of people sharing similar traits, forming group voluntarily. The focus of these resource groups is to foremost benefit the minority group it concentrates on. However, it also provides a space for allies to enter the dialogue and enrich the conversation through their influence. Allies should follow a few principles- ask, listen, turn up, use their platform.

When establishing these groups, it should be clear from the get-go that there are definite goals to achieve. Each member has to engage with the group on an individual level so that the collective voice can reach greater platforms. The resources provided to the groups should help to elevate the voice of the community.

Sponsoring Activities and Programs

The organization should support any programs or activities that the employee resource groups sponsor as long as it is feasible. For example, Pride is a major focus point for companies today. Standing as allies with the LGBTQI+ community is an important decision that can impact many long-term goals of the company. Whether it is marching in the Pride Parade or sensitizing employees to foreign culture/customs, there are numerous pathways to sponsor learning within the community of the company. The equality groups should receive support from the organization itself before they can look outside.

Educating and Empowering Leaders

Education is a decisive tool for building an inclusive culture. It is a great leveler that provides everyone with equal opportunities and skills. Leaders can be taught the importance of cultivating equality, performing the role of an ally, or tackling inclusive management.

Another important tool that drives equality is data. Collection of data, regularly, should be along the lines of gauging the diversity within the organization. It should be a reflection of the representation of minorities within the company. Such statistics hold leaders accountable and make possible the creation of employee groups that are truly diverse in nature. Company culture inherently becomes whole and represents the interests of each sub-section of the company crowd. This is important to form policies that do not inflict any damage on a particular group.

The Bottom Line

Inclusivity is the demand of company culture in the modern job sphere. There is a growing awareness of the rights that any community has the right to demand. Integrity and dignity are no longer being sacrificed to adjust one’s self into the company culture. The need of the hour is, for every company, to create spaces that provide a platform to the voiceless and better educate the allies, so that they can help amass greater understanding to solve any obstacles that hinder progress. Inclusivity is the fuel that drives contemporary markets.

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