Creating a dynamic workplace is not just about company perks or hiring diverse employees. Instead, it is more about creating an environment where everyone feels included and valued is one of the characteristics of a diverse workplace.
It requires you to be aware of your own biases and prejudices and those of the people around you. Once awareness has been reached, then real change can begin to take place in your organization. Below are some ways to start bringing diversity into your company:
Acknowledge your biases
While you can’t change the fact that your brain is wired to make certain assumptions, you can start recognizing where those biases come from.
You’re not alone. As a society, Everyone has preconceived notions about what makes an employee good or bad. What one person considers “a great employee” might be different from someone else’s definition—and that’s okay! That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn more about your biases and how they impact your decisions at work.
Let employees know that inclusivity is essential to you and the company
To create a more inclusive workplace and culture, employees must know your commitment to bringing Diversity. You can accomplish this by holding company events or meetings to discuss the topic of Diversity in general. Or by creating a policy that ensures employee rights and protections regarding their inclusion in the workplace.
In addition, make sure your team knows they are valued as individuals at all times—even when they’re not working together as a group. By doing this, you’ll remind them that every person on your team has something unique to offer the company and its products/services.
According to Intuit, “Creating an inclusive environment has a positive effect on all workers, regardless of whether or not they’re part of minority groups.”
Promote transparency with your employees
Transparency is key to building trust and accountability in the workplace, which helps create an atmosphere of openness. When you’re transparent about your company’s diversity statistics, it allows employees to see where you’re at and makes them feel like they can contribute to making changes.
Sharing your diversity goals also helps build transparency because it shows you have a plan for getting there. Finally, sharing your company’s training and initiatives for improving diversity shows employees that you care about them.
Encourage open conversation about Diversity
One way of creating a dynamic workplace is by encouraging employees to share their experiences, perspectives, and stories. This can be done in several ways:
- Ask your team members about their unique backgrounds and how they came to work for you.
- Encourage them to share what it’s like for them as an [insert identity] at your company. For example, if you have an employee with disabilities who has navigated the hiring process with you or someone who is transgender who has had difficulty finding employment in the past.
- Have a diversity roundtable where everyone shares what they think about topics like race relations in America or gender parity in leadership positions.
Diversity and inclusiveness are essential for all companies, but especially for startups. When you’re working with a small team and resources, your employees need to be able to push each other forward and collaborate effectively.
Intuit suggests that “Diversity starts at the top. Leaders themselves should be a diverse group.” If you want your company to thrive, you need to make sure that everyone feels like they have a voice—no matter who they are or what they look like.