Everyone deserves the same opportunities in their place of business, irrespective of their background, religious beliefs, gender, or race. While most employers likely want to provide equal opportunities and promote diversity and inclusivity, it doesn’t come naturally to every corporation.
Becoming a fair, productive, and inclusive workplace doesn’t happen immediately, but it can happen with hard work and perseverance. You might reap the rewards associated with fairness and inclusivity by doing some of the following things.
Employment lawyers like Stewart Lee Karlin Law Group, PC, see many people who have experienced workplace discrimination. Education and ongoing training could have prevented many of these issues from arising in the first place.
Training can start with the basics, such as what inclusivity is, why it’s important, and how to foster it in the average workplace. It can then progress to real-life changes that benefit the business and its team, such as ensuring everyone’s voices are heard and identifying underrepresented groups to provide them with the support they need.
You know how to ensure your business operations are performed to a high standard each day, but that’s not to say your employees don’t know how to take your business to a whole new level. Unless you provide opportunities for their voices to be heard, you might never know about the many different growth opportunities that might exist.
Promoting fairness, productivity, and inclusivity in a workplace can sometimes be as straightforward as having an open-door policy. If your employees are encouraged to voice their opinions and concerns, they might feel more cared for and valued in their roles, and you might benefit from streamlined operations, increased productivity, and a higher staff retention rate as a result.
Any company can say they pride themselves on being inclusive, but that doesn’t mean their actions always reflect that statement. Inclusive language is an excellent stepping stone to making significant changes.
For example, you might make a point of learning people’s preferred pronouns and using non-gender-specific terms like spouse or partner instead of boyfriend or girlfriend when referring to family. You might even consider adding pronouns to email signatures to show employees and clients that you’re committed to inclusivity. When these changes start from the top, they can lay a strong foundation for employees to follow suit.
Christian holidays are heavily celebrated in the United States, such as Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, and even Valentine’s Day, named after an early Christian martyr. While there’s nothing wrong with observing these special days, you might like to get into the spirit of fairness and inclusivity by acknowledging holidays celebrated and followed by people of different faiths and cultures.
For example, Diwali and Holi are significant holidays for Indian Americans and people of Indian descent, while Jewish people often celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah. Even a simple email acknowledging the occasion and educating your team about them might be more appreciated than you realize.
While most new buildings are ADA-compliant, older structures built in the decades past often aren’t. Some buildings can have narrow hallways, steps that prevent access to some areas, and significant obstacles in kitchens and bathrooms.
Ensuring ADA compliance can be pivotal for creating an inclusive environment and ensuring you don’t avoid hiring people based on their inability to work productively in a non-compliant workplace. If you’re unsure whether your workplace is compliant, you can request an assessment. You might also like to consider navigating your building in a wheelchair to see which obstacles you’d encounter in someone else’s position.
English is the most commonly spoken language, and the Latin alphabet is the world’s most widely used writing system. However, as commonplace as they are, they are not everyone’s first language and writing system.
While you might use English in your everyday working environment, consider installing signage with some of the other most common writing systems to make employees of all cultures and backgrounds feel welcome. Chinese characters, the Arabic alphabet, and Devanagari are excellent options to consider. Alternatively, rely on your newly implemented open-door policy to receive feedback on the languages people prefer to see more of in their workplace.
As challenging as it might be to admit that your workplace might not be as inclusive as you want it to be, you’ve got ample opportunities for change. Some of these change opportunities above are just a few of the many you might like to consider to ensure your employees see you as the fair and inclusive business owner or manager you know you can be.