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Steps to Create a Truly Inclusive Culture

by Jody Ordioni

Executives are opening up to the benefits of diversity and inclusivity in the corporate sector. In the past two years, the demand for diversity and inclusion has increased by 20%. In this atmosphere, it becomes important to understand the fabric of the modern corporate set-up and how improvements can be made. Here are 4 tips to lead towards an inclusive culture.

Listen to Employees

To improve the culture that is present in your company, an understanding of its dynamics has to be established. The understanding stems from listening to what works for employees and what can be changed/improved. Ensuring that you are truly listening and not simply ignoring the grievances of your employees is your responsibility.

Being inattentive to employee concerns is a sign of poor culture. It is emotionally exhaustive for the employees to share their concerns, the least management can offer, is the courtesy to listen. Listening can happen through multiple channels such as one-on-one, anonymous employee surveys, crowdsourcing, etc. However, leaders should be prepared to receive answers they may not like, as the point of listening is to understand which areas need improvement.

Take Action

Once listening is done, make sure to formulate a plan to tackle the problems. It is crucial to implement reforms. If action is not taken, then employee engagement will decrease in the future as there would be a feeling of ‘all talk, no work’. Action can be taken in many fields.

Internal promotions are always a source of contention. Review the process of promotion to see if each deserving individual is benefiting from it; if not, then changes are due.

Understaffed projects are also detrimental to office culture as the burden might fall on select shoulders- mostly junior employees. Policy needs to ensure that work is distributed equally, and deadlines met without stress.

Another way to promote underrepresented people in your company can be partnering with external agencies that are focused on the upliftment of minorities in an organization.

Value Each Input

Everyone has a different definition of culture and different expectations regarding it. Everyone wants to feel belongingness in the workplace. When creating strategies to usher in changes to the culture, it is important to pay attention to everyone’s concerns. From the top-level executives, managers to middle-tier and junior employees, everyone’s input should be considered. Every individual will look at the problem from a unique perspective, thus making their inputs valuable. If workplace culture is truly inclusive, then all employees would feel welcomed and would not hesitate in giving their opinions.

Two-Way Communication Channel Between Employee and Employer

A company’s growth can be measured by the level of evolution its culture has experienced. To ensure that there is no regression in culture, workspaces need to be more diverse and inclusive. This can only be achieved when minorities feel comfortable in the space they inhabit. It can be achieved by opening a two-way channel of communication between the employer and employees. Be comfortable even if your notions or beliefs are challenged, since a positive culture accommodates all schools of thoughts that are beneficial to its growth.

The Bottom Line

Embracing diversity and aiming for better culture is not just limited to the moral resonance it brings but also makes sense from a business point-of-view. An organization that embraces inclusiveness is twice as likely to exceed its financial targets. It is thrice as likely to perform at higher capacity and six-times more likely to inspire innovation. Moreover, its business ventures are eight times more successful. An organization’s culture is its foundation stone, it measures the success and employee engagement, and is an important aspect to cultivate for optimum results.

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