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Best Practices - Inclusion at the workplace

Updated: Nov 22, 2023


Best practices for inclusion at the workplaces

Though always spoken in the same breath as diversity and belonging, inclusion has a distinct meaning at the workplace. Implementing best practices that promote inclusion is a key aspect in creating a positive workplace culture.


What is inclusion at the workplace?


Inclusion at the workplace entails ensuring every employee feels welcome, seen, wanted and supported. Inclusion is a and contributes to a positive employee experience. When employees feel cherished, they bring their best selves to work. An inclusive environment at work promotes sharing, speaking up and contributes to ideation. It also boosts employee morale and productivity. By working proactively towards making inclusion a priority, companies demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being.


Best practices for inclusion at the workplace


Inclusive Recruitment Process


Companies should adopt inclusive hiring practices by evaluating the process and making changes as needed. To begin with, job descriptions should be gender-neutral and free of personality traits in order to attract candidates across the gender and neurodiversity spectrum. The application and interview process should take into consideration the needs of candidates with disabilities by providing the support and technology needed. Ensuring inclusive practices during the hiring process can help attract top talent and help a company be an employer of choice.


Inclusive Language


Inclusive language means language that is free of any bias or discrimination. It does not assume the identity of an individual while communicating but instead takes into account all possible scenarios before making a statement. Inclusive language should be incorporated into internal communication as well as other processes. The leadership team should lead by example by using inclusive language in written and verbal correspondence. Companies should, as a practice, revisit internal communication guidelines and rework them from time to time through the lens of inclusivity.


Inclusive Policies


For company policies to be inclusive, they should factor in the needs of their diverse workforce as well as the challenges faced by them. Healthcare support should be extended to include mental health support. A work policy with considerations for flexible work hours or work from home can provide employees who are caregivers much needed support. Policies related to workplace accessibility should take into account issues that may be faced by employees with disabilities. Companies can partner with Employees Resource Groups (ERGs) to revamp policies and make them more inclusive and up-to-date.


Encourage Collaboration


Workplaces should promote working on collaborative projects among different teams across different designations to build an inclusive workplace. Collaboration requires team members to work together towards a common goal keeping aside their differences. Such initiatives help develop compassion and empathy among colleagues for one another. Employees Resource Groups should also be encouraged to plan and host multi-ERG events. These events increase the visibility of underrepresented groups while celebrating diversity. Multi-ERG events can be easily managed using ERG software like Teleskope.


Measure Inclusion


Measuring inclusion at the workplace can be a challenging task but it is not impossible. The best way to measure inclusion is by devising well-crafted surveys with pointed questions about instances of exclusion. Anonymous surveys, made possible by employee engagement softwares like Teleskope, let employees share their experiences without apprehension. Other ways of measuring inclusion are conducting listening sessions and exit interviews. Analyzing data can also reveal areas where inclusion is not practiced.


It is important for organizations to revisit programs and track inclusion year-on-year to gauge the impact of their efforts to make the workplace inclusive.


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