As we point out in a previous post, diversity and inclusion are two concepts that can be worlds apart.
Most people agree that workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion entails creating an environment where diverse groups of people are represented and given equal opportunities.
Inclusion is a unique concept. Inclusion implies that everyone in the workforce, at every level, has an equal opportunity for advancement, promotion, contribution, and input.
Think of diversity as being similar to selecting people for a chorus who have different musical backgrounds, vocal ranges, and abilities. The inclusion piece of D&I means making sure that those different voices are heard and valued and that they contribute to the performance.
From an HR perspective, inclusion policies create an environment where the concept of inclusion is instantiated, fostered, and ensured at every organizational level.
In this post, we’ll discuss five simple ways to create an inclusive workforce and workplace:
- Encourage Internships and Mentoring Programs for Underrepresented Groups
- Encourage Career and Leadership Programs for Underrepresented Groups
- Encourage Participation and Solicit Feedback from All Groups In Meetings, Activities, etc.
- Have Documented Policies for Employees to Pursue Promotions, Advancement, etc.
- Provide Inclusion Training at All Organizational Levels
At Patel Consultants, we specialize in a wide range of diversity recruiting and staffing solutions. We have great candidates looking for great employers just like you. We can help you with all of your unique and diverse recruiting and staffing needs.
So how do human resources professionals get started?
1. Encourage internships and mentoring programs for underrepresented groups.
Hiring managers are always looking to hire new talent or to promote from within when it makes good business sense. Consider having mentoring programs and internship opportunities for underrepresented groups. This will ensure that every employee will get comfortable with your company’s inclusive culture.
These types of programs are hugely beneficial to both the mentors and their mentees. They can be great ice-breaking opportunities for management and executive team members and can inspire confidence and admiration on both sides of the relationship.
2. Encourage career advancement and leadership programs, especially for underrepresented groups.
You want to make sure that every employee feels like they have opportunities for advancement and promotion. These programs can be hugely beneficial to all employees as well as build confidence in the workforce. This can be especially true of underrepresented groups who might feel intimidated or reticent about pursuing leadership roles.
Our research, for instance, finds that women of color who say they have sponsors are 81% more likely to be satisfied with their career progression than those without sponsors.
Seeing is believing. When employees see their colleagues getting involved in mentoring and leadership programs, they will be much more likely to want to participate.
3. Encourage participation and solicit feedback from all groups in meetings, activities, etc.
Create a culture of respect and inclusion at all levels. Make sure all of your employees know that they have a voice. If workers feel that they have a voice that is valued by your company, they will want to participate.
Keep in mind that every employee has valuable observations and opinions that can help your business grow and improve. Your company will benefit tremendously from its diverse group of talented human resources.
Encourage offline and one-on-one feedback from employees who might feel uncomfortable giving feedback in group environments as well. Over time these employees will realize that their voice is valued by management and colleagues. Their levels of participation will no doubt also increase over time.
4. Have documented policies for employees to pursue promotions, advancement, etc.
All employees deserve access to the same opportunities for advancement. HR professionals want more participation in programs providing these opportunities, not less.
Make sure that all employees are aware of opportunities for advancement and promotion by providing widely accessible documentation and access. This can be done with internal communications, like email, internal websites, employee job portals, etc.
Share job opportunities and encourage employees to apply. This will help to create a more diverse workforce that adds more value to the business.
Remember, by ensuring that all candidates have the same opportunities for advancement within your company, you will be casting a wider net to find the best people for advancement.
5. Provide inclusion training at all organizational levels.
Provide training at all organizational levels, all the way up to and including executive and senior leadership. The actions of leadership will, in turn, permeate all levels of your company. When employees see leadership living your corporate culture of inclusion, they will quickly follow suit.
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Patel Consultants is an employee-centric, customer-oriented, Information Technology Services firm specializing in offering a wide range of IT Staffing Solutions to our growing customer base.
When we’re hired to place a candidate with one of our client companies, employee retention and longevity are always at the forefront of our process.
Are you a hiring manager or human resources professional with a job search, or searches, underway?
At Patel Consultants, we help clients just like you find that perfect candidate every day!