As more companies increasingly take heed of the significance that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion holds within the workplace (and rightfully so), studies unfortunately show that many still have a long way to go in advocating a diverse workforce and leadership team.
Culture Shift, the company that provides a real-life reporting platform to prevent anonymous harassment and bullying at work, recently reported that 46% of the workforce in Britain believes their employer could do more when it comes to diversity. 41% of employees also said their employers make ‘token gestures that feel surface level’ when it comes to D&I.
While there’s been an increase in prioritising Equality, Diversity and Inclusion accompanied with barrage of unconscious bias training, are companies truly committed to understanding the core issues around equality and discrimination at work? Above all, the approach for D&I should be centred around humans, not numbers.
The importance of making Diversity ‘human’
Diversity is what makes us unique as individuals. How it’s celebrated gives us a sense of belonging in the workplace. People want the evidence and precedents to know they can thrive at work. So, they know they can come on board and develop in the same way others do.
Inclusion is embracing diversity and creating a fair environment with equal opportunities. Where everyone can be a part of the community and all voices are heard.
A diverse workforce will bring a wider pool of knowledge from varying backgrounds, cultures and belief systems. It increases engagement and motivation, and in return this also increases retention; attracting the best and brightest people
Instilling Diversity & Inclusion into daily practice
To help ensure D&I isn’t just a numbers game, HHQ has created a list of tips that companies can implement in the workplace and beyond:
- Find out from your people what cultural practises are important and honour them. For example, create food storage and preparation areas for kosher diets.
- Honour celebrations across all cultures. Provide time off and embrace work socials for cultural customs, traditions, and holidays so everyone can get involved.
- Advocate equality by having a diverse leadership and HR team. Let people know progression is attainable.
- Practice authenticity and celebrate bringing your full self to work so others feel empowered to do the same. Share non-work-related passions to get to know each other’s stories.
- Dress in a way that reflects your true self, share your language skills and home-made food favourites.
- Be radically transparent and remove barriers so information regarding salaries, rewards, internal promotions, pay gaps and workforce statistics are accessible.
- Proactively work against ‘success patterns’, hiring the same type of candidate from the same background because they’ve previously performed well.
- Remove candidate names and other identifying factors from your recruitment process. And actively work on your biases.
- Instil work practices that are appropriate for a multigenerational team. For people who aren’t as comfortable with digital and virtual tools, provide support and put training in place.
- Ensure the physical office space serves inclusively. For example, a breastfeeding room for returning mothers, or a quiet prayer area for Muslim employees.
- Collaborate with people to set meaningful diversity goals that resonate.
When people feel they can be their true authentic self at work, they have a stronger affiliation to the company, its purpose and people.
At HappyHQ we help companies easily recognise, implement, and sustain important culture changes. Our approach is informed by all the things that matter most. We put people at the heart of your culture goals because no one experiences company culture more than its people.
Get in touch with one of the team to find out more.