What do inclusive behaviors look like?
Humans are social creatures. Nothing is worse than feeling left out, and employees that lack a sense of belonging are doing your business no favors. Who are these employees? They’re diverse individuals with different sexual orientations, ethnicities, or backgrounds than the perceived cultural standard.
But these individuals hold the key to success, the likes you’ve been dreaming of! Building a culture of inclusion starts with changing some behaviors that find a hold in day-to-day life but have no place in an inclusive workplace.
Learn about the nine inclusive behaviors you can put into action today. Need a little more help with inclusive behaviors? Coach Diversity Institute offers certified diversity programs designed to support bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to a workplace culture near you!
9 Inclusive Workplace Behaviors to Put into Action
Creating an inclusive work environment doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you can take several actions today to improve company culture. If you decide that more effort is necessary, sign up for one of Coach Diversity Institute’s certified diversity coaching programs to become a bastion of DE&I for your team.
1. Hiring from a variety of different backgrounds.
Establishing an inclusive workplace starts with hiring practices. A significant benefit happens when hiring practices include hiring a diverse team, such as attracting a broader customer base. Customers feel comfortable buying from businesses that reflect their personality, and having diverse employees brings in diverse customers.
It’s not just the additional customers you can enjoy with a diverse workforce. Enforcing diverse hiring practices means you expand your talent pool, increasing your chance of finding a highly skilled team member. Diverse hiring also reduces recruiting costs, and employees are more likely to recommend open positions to family and friends.
2. Survey employees regularly to gauge satisfaction levels.
What’s the easiest way to understand how your employees feel about company culture? Ask them often! Failing to gauge employee satisfaction leads to unconscious bias. Inclusive leaders proactively seek out different points of view and take action to create a more inclusive workplace.
Employees who feel included are more engaged, have higher overall performance, and cooperate to improve your bottom line. That’s why it’s always a good idea to refresh your team on unconscious bias training through Coach Diversity Institute. The different programs cater to groups of all sizes, and a course through Coach Diversity Institute is the easiest way to continue building an inclusive workplace.
3. Develop a clear system to address misunderstandings.
Conflict between co-workers is the enemy of an inclusive workplace. Nothing is more harmful to a work environment than underlying issues that go unresolved. To tackle misunderstandings systematically, focus on these critical steps:
- Address conflict immediately
- Communicate expectations clearly
- Engage in active listening
- Identify causes for concern
- Enforce safe spaces
- Probe every accusation
- Come to a favorable conclusion
Sticking your head in the sand when it comes to conflict won’t make it go away. In fact, avoiding conflict resolution can create legal problems that grind business to a halt.
4. Give everyone a chance to speak during meetings.
Meetings are where ideas, voices, and decision-making come together to create action. Businesses with diverse leadership teams perform better in terms of profitability, flexibility, and adaptability. But these benefits only occur when voices of different backgrounds have room to contribute.
Inclusive leaders provide a comfortable platform for employees to participate. However, it is easier if you help employees by celebrating contributions from introverts, giving credit to individuals for their ideas, and removing stressors like large groups. Give employees a chance to prepare before the meeting to prevent unintended consequences.
5. Create a safe space for employees to feel respected.
The well-being of your employees depends on the ability to create safe spaces. You can establish safe spaces in the workplace by creating policies like ground rules on language, a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination, and reflective coaching. Non-inclusive behaviors include microaggressions where an employee’s sense of belonging is under attack.
These policies should find their way to employee handbooks, onboarding materials, and frequent refresher training. It’s essential to reinforce inclusive behaviors and stand up whenever diverse groups face discrimination.
6. Encourage mentorships across departments.
An inclusive team is a team that’s capable of working well with other departments. Mentorship programs are the perfect way to expose team members to new learning opportunities. Maybe your older employees could benefit from a LinkedIn workshop, while your younger team could work on accountability.
Mentorships improve employee engagement and communication between diverse groups in your organization. An inclusive company looking to expand globally will have a better starting point because of these mentorships!
7. Celebrate multicultural holidays.
Celebrating holidays is a human experience, and the humans in your organization live for holidays. However, not every ethnicity celebrates the same holidays. Having a diverse workforce gives you the opportunity to learn more about other cultural celebrations. And celebrating diverse holidays is an excellent team-building activity!
There are several ways to include multicultural holidays in your workplace, like having potlucks with traditional dishes or offering PTO for alternative holidays. You could even take more aggressive action and turn company holidays into floating PTO days for added flexibility.
8. Continually re-evaluate pay structure and hiring requirements.
The world moves pretty fast, and compensation packages frequently fall victim to outdated practices. Involve your human resource department in promoting an inclusive culture with transparent salaries and invest in wage analysis.
By implementing salary transparency, equitable pay structures, and hiring requirement changes, you promote inclusion efforts. It’s important to constantly re-evaluate hiring practices using employee surveys and audits to ensure your hiring practices are still up-to-date. Once you’ve established an inclusive culture, taking a step backward would only contribute to more expenses.
9. Become aware of your unconscious biases.
DE&I are meaningless without inclusive leadership, and the best leaders take their unconscious biases seriously. They engage in training courses, like those offered through Coach Diversity Institute, and translate that awareness into initiatives that make a lasting impact on workplace culture.
Leaders who fail to recognize these biases fail to establish a culture of inclusion. Only by identifying the implicit biases within ourselves can lasting change genuinely happen.
Build an Inclusive Work Environment for Your Team with Coach Diversity
There are countless benefits to establishing an inclusive workplace. From improved productivity to more significant profits, diversity and inclusion is the secret to unlocking these benefits. Though few things in business are straightforward, these easy-to-follow steps prove that a culture of inclusion is far from the most complicated aspect.
Although these tips can start making a difference in your organization today, you’ll find even more benefits from Coach Diversity Institute’s pool of experts, resources, and accredited certifications. Join the ranks of professional diversity coaches with more than 128 hours of dedicated content explicitly designed to make you an expert in diversity. Schedule your first training session today and see how you can make a difference!