Fostering an Inclusive Working Environment
Exclusion in the workplace can leave employees feeling undervalued or disregarded. Any improper behaviour by co-workers with impunity will only lead to a toxic working environment. However at Hirecracker, we understand the importance of assessing workplace cultures/environments regularly, to benefit both our employees and our clients. An organisation that is more inclusive leads to happy staff, better retention and fewer problems with internal issues.
Take a look at our 6 steps to a more inclusive organisation:
Lead by Example
As a leader for your employees, ensure that you model respectful practice organisational values and promote inclusion across all departments and your employees will follow suit. This shows prospective and current employees how you as a company should behave, which creates a positive culture – lead from the top!
Creating your Company Code of Conduct
Your values should exist and reflect your organisation inside and out - use these when establishing a code of conduct for your company. In addition, your code of conduct should be a plan which you can evaluate the progress of, helping you toward meeting your goals. Always include this in documents sent to new starters to help them understand your companies values!
Let Your Employees Know You’re Listening
Rather than waiting for any issues to arise before taking action, be proactive. Consider the actions you could take to prevent any misconduct from taking place. For example, think about sending out anonymous feedback surveys to all your employees periodically to help create a safe space for them to voice any concerns. This also helps gain further insight on how your employees are feeling about their work life and seeing where you could improve.
Third-Party Training Sessions
Invite third-party speakers or organisations that specialise in educating on various sociocultural topics, to host training sessions with leading managers. This can bring new information to your leaders and help them focus on implementing it into their team. These sessions can touch on issues relating to workplace racism, ageism, sexism, ableism and more.
Make Sure Your Workplace is Physically Inclusive
Your office space should accommodate any disabled employees/disabled applicants applying for a role, according to The Equality Act 2010 (UK). In other words, you should include features such as a lift, a ramp alternative to stairs and disabled toilet facilities. Having these accommodations in place shows excellent company culture as well as your willingness to be inclusive.
Be Inclusive in Informal Settings
Ensure nobody is feeling excluded, which could be especially hard for any new starters. Not only does this go for formal situations, but also informal – are your employees including everyone in casual conversations? Do you ever spot someone sitting at lunch alone, regularly? Has everyone been invited to after work social activities? Remove the chance of cliques forming in your workplace by asking yourself these questions. Think about how you can improve – team building exercises are key!
“Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts—but they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.” — Matt Bush, Culture Coaching Lead at Great Place to Work.
Celebrating Pride Month in Your Workplace
The time has come around again for Pride Month! Prepare to see the streets flooded with flashy outfits, rainbows and happy faces. Give your LGBTQ+ employees and allies a reason to be as happy at their workplace as they are in embracing who they are.
Not everyone is comfortable being “out” to their co-workers, in fact many worry that they may be treated different by their co-workers or employers because of this. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against their employees because of sexual orientation.
Evidently, there are still measures you can go above and beyond with to let your employees know that you support them being themselves. Why not look at creating employee resource groups and inviting members of staff who are in the LGBTQ+ community? Or alternatively, you could promote your values on social media/via email marketing for prospective employees as well as clients to see?
If you happen to have the funding; invite an LGBTQ+ speaker to come and talk to your employees or host a virtual webinar. As a matter of fact, this can educate those working for you who don’t know much about the community and gives a bit of insight into their own “coming out” story or what is and isn’t okay to ask someone regarding their sexuality.
Here’s some of the top LGBTQ+ speakers of 2022:
- Steph McGovern – Nominee for Top 10 LGBT+ Broadcasters 2021
- Charlie Martin – First Transgender Competitor at Le Mans 24hrs
- Richard Coles – One of the UK’s First Ever Openly Gay Vicars
- Katie Neeves – Founder of Cool2BTrans
- Riyadh Khalaf – Author of A Gay Boy’s Guide to Life
Celebrating Pride Month in the workplace is about acknowledging your employees hardships. In conclusion, show that your brand is inclusive and does not discriminate!
Consider the actions above and how you want to represent your brand; when employees feel valued and accepted in their team and in the wider organisation, without having to conform, your company will reap the rewards with their hard work. Employees with inclusive managers are said to be 1.3x more likely to feel that their innovative potential is unlocked!
Hirecracker are proud to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.