Organisational culture is a vital aspect of any company’s success. It shapes the way employees interact with each other, clients, and the public. A company culture that supports diversity and inclusion is essential in today’s globalized world. It is the responsibility of every organisation to ensure that their employees feel safe and respected, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. In this article, we will explain the steps necessary to foster a company culture that promotes advocacy for diversity and inclusion.
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ePost-pandemic, efforts in this area are really coming to the forefront as well – it is important to note that if you are not active in this area, you are essentially falling behind others. What’s more, there is plenty of data out there to support the fact that Diversity and Inclusion actually drives business development –
· Cognitive diversity drives innovation by up to 20% (Deloitte)
· Racially diverse teams report a 35% increase in performance compared to their competitors (Sage)
· More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers (Glassdoor)
We also wanted to mention at this point that you may come across different names in this area such as D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) and DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). These areas fall under the same umbrella but have slightly different focusses – this article will not dive into this, but we will look at this in a future article.
Understanding Company Culture and Its Impact on Diversity and Inclusion
Company culture is the shared values, beliefs, and behaviours that define how people work together. It is the foundation of any organisation, and it affects everything from employee morale to customer satisfaction. A company culture that supports diversity and inclusion is crucial because it allows employees to feel valued and respected. When employees feel valued and respected, they are more productive, engaged, and motivated to work.
When a company culture is not supportive of diversity and inclusion, it can lead to discrimination, harassment, and exclusion. This can cause employees to feel demotivated, disengaged, and even leave the organisation altogether. A culture that promotes advocacy for diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business.
Steps to Creating a Company Culture That Supports Diversity and Inclusion
Identifying and Promoting Company Values That Align with Diversity and Inclusion
The first step in creating a company culture that supports diversity and inclusion is to identify and promote company values that align. Values are the foundation of any company culture, and they should reflect the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These values should be communicated to all employees, and they should be reflected in the company’s policies, procedures, and practices.
Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace Environment
Creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment is essential in fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. Employees should feel safe to be themselves and express their opinions without fear of retaliation or discrimination. This can be achieved by creating policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment, providing training on diversity and inclusion, and implementing a reporting system for any incidents of discrimination or harassment.
Encouraging Open Communication and Active Listening
Encouraging open communication and active listening is vital. Employees should feel comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences without fear of judgment or retribution. This can be achieved by creating an open-door policy, providing opportunities for feedback and input, and modelling active listening skills.
Providing Diversity and Inclusion Training for All Employees
Providing diversity and inclusion training for all employees can really help in driving home the message you want to portray. Training should be provided at all levels of the organisation, from entry-level employees to senior executives. The training should cover topics such as unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and inclusive language. This training should be ongoing and regularly updated to reflect changes in the organisation’s policies and practices. Remember, there are digital tools that can help with this area.
Recognizing and Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion Within the Company
Recognizing and celebrating diversity and inclusion within the company is essential in fostering a culture that supports diversity and inclusion. This can be achieved by highlighting the contributions of diverse employees, celebrating cultural holidays and events, and promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives within the organisation.
Measuring the Success of Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Measuring the success of your diversity and inclusion initiatives is essential in determining the effectiveness of your efforts. This can be achieved by tracking metrics such as employee retention rates, employee satisfaction, and employee engagement. It is also essential to gather feedback from employees to understand their experiences and identify areas for improvement.
This area can also be combined with other people analytics across the organisation to create a fantastic place to work – which in turn drives the business forwards.
Promotion within the wider community
Once you have progressed along your D&I journey, you can begin to look at how you promote this in the wider community. You can begin to think here about Investors in People awards, or achieving B Corp status. This is not only great for you as a business, but good for other individuals and companies to see this going on. It will also help to drive overall recruitment and retention figures within the organisation.
Conclusion and Next Steps for Creating a Culture of Advocacy for Diversity and Inclusion
Creating a culture of advocacy for diversity and inclusion is a continuous process that requires commitment and effort from everyone in the organisation. By identifying and promoting company values that align with diversity and inclusion, creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment, encouraging open communication and active listening, providing diversity and inclusion training for all employees, recognizing, and celebrating diversity and inclusion within the company, and measuring the success of your diversity and inclusion initiatives, you can foster a culture that supports diversity and inclusion.
As a next step, we encourage you to assess your organisation’s current culture and identify areas for improvement. Develop a plan for implementing the steps outlined in this article and communicate your commitment to diversity and inclusion to your employees.
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