Inclusion in the workplace is everyone’s job — it takes action at every level to build a culture of inclusion.
To make an impact, you need to take action to strengthen the building blocks of an inclusive workplace. Here are some tips to get started at your company:
For every single employee
Inclusion can only make a company-culture-wide impact when people feel valued and unique, when they feel they have a voice and belong. It takes effort on everyone’s part to build trust over time.
Show your people you care about workplace inclusion with:
An optional online “town hall” meeting about an upcoming business decision or HR effort. When people feel commitment from you, they’ll reward you with their own commitment.
A random lunch partner program. Your people can meet new coworkers, learn about each other’s roles and ultimately strengthen the cultural ecosystem.
Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees. Encourage managers to make the time, and let your people know that it’s their space to talk about what matters most.
For a growth-oriented workplace
With a more collaborative environment, access to resources and opportunities for learning and development, people, teams and entire companies can reach their full potential.
Make an inclusive culture happen with:
A cross-functional project or meeting between teams. Research by the Limeade Institute reveals that peer-to-peer interactions are key to perceptions of inclusion at work, so extend everyone’s peer networks.
Regular check-ins with your managers and employees. As a leader, what are you hearing from your people? What’s not working, and what could make a difference?
Designated time during one-on-ones to start a conversation and encourage employees to continuously pursue learning and development, supporting their journey as much as possible.
For the bigger picture
Clearly communicate to employees how your organization views, defines and pursues inclusion. That way, all your people know how and where they can take action to improve inclusion.
Bring a culture of inclusion to life with:
Behaviors and actions that inspire. Model the kind of behavior aligned to your inclusive mission. Your people will see your commitment to the process and know their own next steps.
Visuals. Whether it’s a poster in the break room, a mobile app or an inclusive meeting checklist in every conference room, keeping inclusion right up front will keep it top of mind for everyone.
Real action. Listen to employee feedback, collect the data points, define the best practices. But most importantly, show people you’re taking action on the insights, so they’ll be inspired to be inclusive in their own ways. (That’s where Limeade can help.)
Next steps for your inclusive culture
Workplace inclusion starts with the tools and resources that foster inclusive habits. This means thinking about the millions of interactions employees have every day and how they may or may not make people feel welcomed, valued and appreciated. It means keeping up the momentum, showing ongoing commitment from the top and encouraging grassroots efforts at all levels.
And you need everyone working together to bring a culture of inclusion to life.
Despite the pandemic, Gallup reports a sharp drop in the percentage of employees who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall wellbeing. Check out this guide on how to reduce employee attrition with a well-being program.