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Organizations today are prioritizing an inclusive workplace that promotes diversity and belonging. They are launching DEI committees, providing diversity training and hiring DEI focused leaders and recruiters.
It can be a daunting task creating a workplace where everyone feels welcome and empowered, but companies that put in the work are seeing results.
Inclusive work environments have been proven to help cultivate more productive, happy and engaged employees. McKinsey and Company researched workplace diversity and the data speaks for itself:
- Companies in the top quartile for diversity are 36% more profitable than those in the bottom.
- 83% of millennial employees are actively engaged at work if they believe the culture is inclusive.
- 50% lower turnover, 56% increase in job performance with a keen sense of belonging.
Inclusive companies create better outcomes for themselves and their employees. That does not mean it is easy. Creating true inclusion requires intentional effort from every stakeholder in the company culture.
However, there are some steps each of us can take to start building a culture where everyone can belong.
Identify and practice challenging our internal biases:
How we conduct ourselves both at work and in the community must be intentional. One of the first things we can do to ensure that we are being inclusive is to identify any internal biases we may have and practice challenging those when we engage with others.
Start out by thinking about your daily routine. What are some things that might be triggers for you as it relates to others? When others are late does it impact how you view them? Our biases often come out in small moments throughout the day that we often are not aware of.
If you do not know where to start, I recommend taking an implicit bias assessment to learn more about yourself and what triggers you.
Acknowledge and celebrate differences:
Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to acknowledge the things that make us different, but this mindset is what holds us back from embracing diversity.
Practice not being afraid to acknowledge differences and identify ways to celebrate the differences of our peers.
This can be as simple as acknowledging a skill or something from a co-worker’s background that makes them unique. One example would be asking a co-worker to teach you about how they celebrate holidays within their specific culture or religion and then celebrating that with them.
Our differences are a strength, and together we can achieve more than we could on our own.
Advocate for DEI within your company:
If your company already has a DEI committee, you can engage. Stay involved with what action steps they are taking to create inclusion and ask about ways that you can help.
If your company does not have a DEI committee, be an advocate for forming one. Speaking up could spark a change and set your organization on a path toward a healthier, more inclusive culture.
Creating a culture of inclusivity will not happen overnight. But together we can start building towards the goal, one step at a time.