For good reason, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a business priority. Along with ongoing global crises, social movements, and racial injustice, more people are becoming increasingly interested in DEI and how organisations are approaching it.
As business leaders attempt to rebuild the workforce, they must first understand what is important to people and then devise policies and plans that address these concerns. It is not only about what their business needs; it is also about what their employees need.
When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, organisational leaders must recognise that different points of view are based on more than just appearance or group affiliation. Even within organisations, different departments and corporate levels see things from different perspectives, and corporate diversity is important in driving business innovation forward.
Some businesses and HR departments have a misunderstanding of what diversity actually means. They make the mistake of focusing on meeting quotas rather than recognising the value and diversity of different perspectives. Employees from similar demographic or societal groups may have differing perspectives based on their career experience, personal background, stage of life, and role within a company, among other factors.
Many HR professionals are now taking the lead in developing a vision for the future workforce that includes greater flexibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion. According to a Forbes survey, almost half (49%) of the HR leaders polled said they are driving inclusive leadership at their organisations by increasing efforts to create more inclusive cultures and empowering employees to make a difference.
Following are the five ways in which HR can help in creating an inclusive work environment.
- Promoting inclusion in the onboarding process
Providing a comfortable onboarding experience for new employees sets the tone for how connected they feel to the company. Believing they are recognised and included from the start, sets the tone for a new hire’s experience at your company. Keeping inclusion at the forefront of the onboarding process gives the impression that they will receive the assistance they require while settling in.
- Examine your compensation practices
Compensation policies should be clear and well-organised. Guidance for starting salaries, performance-based pay, and bonuses should be clearly structured, and the criteria should be easily understood by all employees.
- Re-evaluate employee policies
Conduct a thorough examination of employment policies to identify any barriers preventing an organisation from creating inclusive work environments. There should be well-known policies in place for workplace behavior expectations that emphasize treating others with dignity and respect. Explain what constitutes discrimination and harassment, as well as the consequences of such behaviour. Ensure managers have a thorough understanding of the policies and are prepared to respond to any complaints in a timely and effective manner.
- Examine your recruitment practices
Examine the recruitment procedures on a regular basis to ensure that they do not affect certain groups and are equally accessible to all applicants.
- Incorporate inclusion into the virtual workplace
Companies should prioritise community within the new virtual culture by valuing employee experience. Community spirit can be fostered in the virtual workplace through regular interaction and collaboration among employees to strengthen social bonds. Managers can encourage inclusion in their remote teams by keeping a human connection. They should communicate with everyone on a regular basis and engage in virtual social and team-building activities.
According to a 2019 study conducted by EY’s Center for Talent Innovation, “39 percent of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in on how they are doing, both personally and professionally.”