Do you think your company is keeping up with industry expectations on workplace inclusivity and diversity? In a 2021 Glassdoor survey 3 out of 4 job seekers (76%) reported that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. On top of that, nearly a third of employees and job seekers (32%) said they would not apply to work at a company which lacked diversity. This number was significantly higher for black and LGBTQ individuals.
The importance of inclusivity is growing as younger, more socially conscious, workers enter the workforce. Companies need to revaluate how they are performing when it comes to being a safe and open space for all individuals. Below, we’ve compiled some changes that companies can make today to bring themselves up to speed within their industry.
Create opportunities for conversation
In order for all employees to feel included in the workplace, it is important they are included socially. That’s why mixing events where employees can get to know one another is a crucial part of any inclusive business. Hosting social events provides an opportunity for employees to get to know one another and connect — breeding an inclusive environment.
In fact, CEO Jeff Cates believes that employee networks are “perhaps the single greatest way to promote the type of inclusive culture that helps people thrive and businesses stand out.”
Integrate inclusivity into your core values
The core values of a company shape multiple elements of the business — the employees, attitudes, work ethic, and culture. Including inclusivity in your core values sets the tone for an inclusive company culture. It signals to both new hires and current employees the expectations surrounding diversity and acceptance within the business. Take a look at some of these inclusive values used by major companies,
“Global diversity” & “Developing diversity” – Johnson & Johnson
“Respect for the individual: Valuing diversity and unique contributions, fostering a trusting, open and inclusive environment…” -Accenture
“Diversity: As inclusive as our brands” -Coca Cola
Use inclusive language
Over the past decade every-day language has evolved to become more inclusive. On social media especially, there has been increased sensitivity to the use of pronouns. Gender-neutral pronouns and terms are now more popular than ever. If you want your company to keep up, it is important that employees are both knowledgeable about inclusive language and that it is also actively practiced by management.
Some examples of inclusive language include using they/them pronouns, preferred pronouns, and gender-neutral terminology for partners such as the term spouse.
Expand your company holiday calendar
Does your business use a holiday calendar that is inclusive of cultural and religious dates?
Despite a move towards inclusivity, many companies are still stuck with restricted holiday calendars. Expanding your holiday calendar from Christian secular holidays such as Christmas and Easter can make a world of difference for how included your employees feel.
In a diverse workplace there will be a large range of ethnicities and religions, each with their own unique celebrations which can be added to your company calendar. We’ve put some cultural and religious dates below to get the ball rolling.
- Mahayana New Year (Buddhism)
- Chinese New Year (Chinese)
- Parinirvana Day (Buddhism)
- St Patrick’s Day (Irish)
- Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
- Yom Kippur (Jewish)
- Ramadan (Islamic)
Include multilingual signage
Using multilingual signage around the office — more likely than not — is not entirely necessary. However, it can help employees who are multilingual or bilingual feel included around the office. It can also help remind other employees that the office space is an open and diverse place.
Adding pronouns into email signatures
In May 2021 Instagram added the option for users to put their pronouns clearly at the front of their profile. A month later, LinkedIn made the same change. With both companies claiming that it was in an effort to increase inclusivity on the platform(s).
Including pronouns in email signatures feels like the next move for the workforce. Although, at this time it’s not common place, the way inclusivity is rapidly developing it may well be very soon. Using them now is a way for your company to make a stand and be ahead of the curve.
LGBT+ Inclusion Consultant Gina Battye has this to say: “It creates a safe space so everyone can bring their whole self to work, no longer needing to censor or hide parts of themselves. This leads to greater productivity, creativity and connection with colleagues and your organisational purpose.”
Know your employees’ background & needs
In order to implement a successful plan to increase the inclusivity in your workplace, you need to understand your business. This includes understanding the current level of diversity in your business and how employees perceive the company culture.
Many employees may feel uncomfortable openly sharing their religion, cultural background, sex, or gender identity as it may be considered a private topic. With an anonymous employee survey, employees can feel confident that they can share openly and without judgement, eliminating some of this bias. A CiVS employee survey can report back a demographic breakdown of your company, along with current perceptions and attitudes surrounding your topic of choice.
The insights available through a CiVS survey can help your company to build the perfect custom-fit solution to improve the level of inclusivity in the workplace.
If you would like to learn more about hosting an employee survey, please contact the CiVS team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (08) 6314 0580.