How can I create an inclusive work environment?
Upon becoming a speaker on inclusion in the workplace, I have noticed how many companies feel that the current employment initiatives can seem imposing and are in place just to encourage them to fill their quotas. From the news, it appears some companies are hiring the first people they can find that fit the bill, then they wonder why retention rates and morale of the team is low.
An inclusive workplace starts from within - that's to say that the people at the top, filtering down to the whole team of employees, need to understand why an inclusive workplace is fantastic for the company as a whole. They should have the chance to get to grips with the changes they can implement to encourage the best of the best to the organisation, as inclusion should not be about whether someone is male or female, a certain religion or skin colour, it should be about the best people working in the best environment that, in turn, enables all to feel empowered, motivated and valued.
But how on Earth can a company go about making changes from within, to create a space which can create these motivated people who want to stay for the long-haul?
I personally believe a bit of oomph with workshops, training and just some down right important changes to the way the leaders within teams actually lead their people is a great step in the right direction.
How often are people who are great at one job, are then promoted as a way of recognition of their value to the company then find themselves in the place of "manager" or "team leader" without the training to help them learn their own leadership style and how to lead a team of a diverse group of people?
How many companies feel that the higher up the ranks you go, the less women there are for the newer members of the team to aspire to be like?
When we create organisations that offer the chance to not just go up the ladder, but also receive the required training, support and advice, as well as excellent role models to aspire to and get mentorship from, we create an incredible company which will retain the best people within.
I could go on with the other changes that would make companies so much more inviting to a diverse workforce, perhaps that shall have to be in my next article, but let me finish with a little personal thought. I believe all companies can be inclusive and inviting to a great range of amazing candidates, you just need a little jiggle to get the ball rolling, from people who have been there and know the benefits.
What do you think is the most important step to creating a space which is inclusive?