Your Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment programme is just the start of your commitment to creating a robust D&I strategy throughout your business. It doesn’t stop at the point you offer an individual of an ethnic minority group a role. It must extend throughout each and every part of your business processes, going far beyond recruitment and onboarding.
What can businesses and leaders do to create effective race inclusion in the workplace?
Written and verbal communication
It is important to consider how both your verbal and written communications will be received throughout the business. To ensure you don’t risk alienating any employees, be aware and understand cultural differences and apply them to any communications. Take note of the language used, is it complex, will it offend, could it mean something different to someone of a different culture?
Regular D&I training
This must start at the top, managers and leaders must undergo training on what inclusion is, why it’s important and what strategies are being adopted throughout the business to create inclusive environments. They should also have the opportunity to delve into their own personal bias and create ways to shape inclusive behaviors. You may even want to invest in Bystander Intervention training; to understand how to spot inappropriate behavior and know how to step in and take action when needed.
Provide reasonable accommodation
It’s important that for employees with a disability or sincerely held belief there’s a change in the work environment or the way in which they work, so that the employee can carry out the functions of their job and enjoy equal employment opportunities. For example, you may need to provide a prayer room or make allowances for dress code.
Review your processes and practices
Think about the many processes and practices throughout the workplace; hiring, training and development, promotion and benefit provision, do they foster inclusion? Does every employee have the same equal opportunity in all these areas or are there aspects within the processes that may limit some employee's ability to access these?
Form an inclusion committee, comprising of employees from different areas of the business who lead and guard the inclusion efforts and strategy to ensure it filters throughout the business and remains true to its original objective.
Reviewing, sense checking and benchmarking your inclusion strategies
It’s important to remember that even once there are inclusion strategies in place throughout the business and there is an awareness and understanding of its importance amongst every employee you can’t become complacent.
There must always be a policy to review what is in place, check it is up to date and take steps to make changes and updates where necessary to ensure that the environment is a workplace that remains inclusive for all.