Most people will experience exclusion and inclusion moments during their life. Whilst the latter feels great, the former can sometimes be soul-crushing.
When looking at inclusion within the workplace, you need to make sure that you and different colleagues aren’t victim to feeling left out or unappreciated. You need to encourage everyone around you to be themselves, so they feel comfortable voicing their views, connecting with everyone and feeling welcomed where they will likely spend the majority of their week.
With this, we’ve put together some ideas on different ways to be inclusive so why not try practicing some of these in your workplace?
If you are attending a meeting, whether in person or online, it can be hard to get the opportunity to voice your points. So, one idea might be for the person hosting said meeting to send round an email or message beforehand stating what the meeting is about and if anyone has anything they wish to discuss during it. This allows for some structure and ensures that different points will all be give equal time to speak.
Furthermore, if you’re the one hosting then you need to find a way to make your team feel connected and create a sense of cohesion. For example, you could ask, at different points, what the consensus is of the people attending the meeting or even something as simple as giving credit to someone if they’ve made a good suggestion (even if they’re not in the room at the time! You can always speak to them again separately). This will help everyone to understand their colleagues better and find the best way to utilise each other’s strengths in different areas.
We, as humans, do not typically like to hear criticism. Instead, we want to know how to fix something or find a solution so aim to do this more! If there is a recurring problem then look into ways to solve this. Not only will many people be grateful for your work but it will also show that you are valuable within the company.
People respond well to other people that are positive— be this person!
For any directors or managers out there, well done! You worked hard to get where you are and should feel very proud of yourselves! With this, you will likely know how aspirational many people are when going into a particular field.
Employees need to feel that there are/going to be opportunities to develop and advance because, without this, you will stop their personal growth and innovative ideas. So, allow for more opportunities to learn what their goals are and how you can support them to help them achieve this.
Being heard is step one in being inclusive but being heard and considered is even better. For example, there will likely be differences such as cultures, gender identities, backgrounds amongst a whole host of other things. Therefore, it’s also likely that not everyone will be aware of the different celebrations, terms, problems in association with these differences.
So, some examples of celebrating and supporting differences could be:
Following on from above, if you have a diverse workplace then this is wonderful as you’ll have many different points of view and life experiences!
However, not everyone will accept this and may believe their opinions are the only justified ones.
Although everyone has the right to their opinions, if you find out that other employees / colleagues are being disrespected by someone else then you need to ensure you work to resolve this.
You’re all working towards the same goal and although people won’t always agree with each other, you still need to be professional and respectful in order to move on and work efficiently.