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Creating an Inclusive Culture in the Workplace

An inclusive culture allows a workplace to thrive.

Inclusion is the notion that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully, has equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success. In order for inclusion to be successful, it requires everyone’s involvement — employee, manager, and leader.

A company should hire employees from different backgrounds, and foster an environment that welcomes their opinions and ideas. The result will lead to increased employee engagement, creativity, retention and innovation.

According to Deloitte, inclusive workplaces are six times as likely to be innovative and have more than two times the cash flow per employee over non-inclusive workplaces in a three-year period.

“Communication is the number one issue we’ve noticed with clients. It’s important for the entire company or organization to embrace diversity and inclusion, not just the HR department,” said Shawn Baker, president of Cochran, Cochran and Yale (CCY).

Top talent are always looking to work in diverse and inclusive environments, but not providing one may result in not securing the ideal candidate. Employees will leave a company if they feel they’re not heard or provided opportunities to advance in the workplace.

“Retention and a lack of proper recruitment strategies and branding to attract diverse candidates also are common challenges that companies and organizations must improve upon to create a culture of inclusiveness,” adds Baker.

The business case for diversity and inclusion remains strong. According to McKinsey & Company, the most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability. A 2019 analysis found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile—up from 21 percent in 2017 and 15 percent in 2014.

5 Tips for Creating an Inclusive Culture

An inclusive culture truly allows a workplace to thrive. Here are five tips for creating an inclusive culture in the workplace:

1. Educate the leadership team. Educating the C-suite team and department leaders about the importance of inclusion and providing training will prove beneficial when it’s time to unveil inclusivity initiatives enterprise-wide. Nearly all of the Fortune 500 companies and nearly one-half of U.S. midsize companies mandate diversity training. Training helps raise awareness and removes bias, and facilitates necessary discussions.

2. Recognize more holidays. In addition to Christian holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, be sure to include holidays that represent the religious beliefs of the company at large. For Jewish employees, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur should be recognized, while Eid-al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha, Ramadan, and Muharram should be recognized for Muslims.

3. Recognize and reward performance often. Rewarding and recognizing employees often increases employee engagement and boosts morale. Schedule quarterly employee award ceremonies, promote them internally and recognize current and past winners.

4. Improve employee onboarding. Since onboarding is the first step of the employee’s journey, the process should focus on making them feel included. Research has shown that companies with an employee-focused onboarding program retained 91 percent of its first-year workers. Onboarding also can increase job satisfaction, enhance performance and reduce the stress that new hires often experience.

5. Create Mentorship/Professional Development programs. Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to advance within a company is very important. High-performing employees should be offered mentors regardless of their age, race, sex. If a mentorship program isn’t feasible, there are other ways of providing similar opportunities, including supporting employees’ continuing education and professional development groups. Prioritizing inclusion in the workplace can improve a company’s brand identity and reputation too.

Contact Us

At CCY, we help your business embrace change, create an inclusive workplace culture, identify areas of HR improvement, and add value to the broader organization through these key services:

  • HR Optimization
  • HR Transformation
  • Talent Management
  • HR Outsourcing
  • Change Management
  • Organization Design

CCY has developed talent and trained leaders and managers for 40+ years. We propel business success by aligning human capital with organizational strategy. CCY’s services are custom-fit to any workforce performance need, capable of supporting both large industry and small start-up employers for the entire human-capital lifecycle.

Speak to an expert today!

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