The term “inclusive culture” has become a buzzword in recent years. We see it on LinkedIn discussions, organizational policies, and job descriptions. But, it’s far more than a fancy fad among progressive employers.
So, what does an inclusive culture mean?
“Inclusive culture” describes a positive environment that promotes harmony and collaboration among co-workers of all backgrounds. It’s the secret adhesive that keeps employees feeling valued, driven, and motivated to deliver at their best from day one.
How Can I Be More Inclusive at Work?
Inclusive culture, in many instances, provides workers with equal opportunities regardless of their background. The process usually involves hiring or recruiting people traditionally excluded from decision-making and positions of power in a company.
You can be more inclusive by creating (and following) policies to strengthen DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) initiatives. These may include observing fair hiring processes, promoting employee resource groups (ERGs), and providing social support. Just to name a few.
Let’s dive into more detailed ways to create an inclusive culture in your biz.
5 Ways to Create an “Inclusive Culture”
What does an inclusive culture look like? Imagine a workplace where talent thrives based on merit and purpose!
An inclusive approach makes the most of your talent pool. That’s why employers and recruiters continue to seek innovative ways to make the workplace more inclusive. Here’s how you can do it:
#1 – Promote and Support ERGs
ERGs exist in over 90% of Fortune 500 companies, and with good reason. Aside from significantly improving workplace quality and employee experiences, ERGs have a lasting positive impact on your bottom line.
For example, ERGs provide company leaders with unique insights on specific issues that shape the decision-making processes, aligning actions closely with core business objectives.
And, ERG leaders often have the winning qualities to serve as brand ambassadors, engaging specific communities at a deeper level to expand and scale organizational outreach.
If you are getting a fresh start with ERGS, here are 5 Best Practices for Employee Resource Groups you might find helpful.
#2 – Write Inclusive Job Descriptions
The words you use in job descriptions impact candidates’ interest and the decision to apply (or not). Thoughtful and sensitive language in JDs lays the foundation for an inclusive culture from the start.
A healthy and high-functioning workplace should foster the concept of considering applicants regardless of gender, disability status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or where they went to school.
With only a few clicks, software like Ongig’s Text Analyzer helps you flag and replace exclusionary language from your JDs. This saves you the trouble of manually going through every sentence looking for potential bias. Some words are more obvious than others.
For example, did you know “brown bag session” might be offensive or exclusionary to people of color?
#3 – Hire a DEI Leader or Work Collectively
Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) place inclusivity efforts into a clearer perspective, working closely with their CEO to create the ideal workplace setting.
By hiring a CDO, your company can take a more systematic approach to realizing daily DEIB goals (with a coordinated budget). And, CDOs help keep co.s on track with setting and reaching diversity goals.
Alternatively, if you have a smaller company with a lower budget, consider involving employees at all levels in managing culture through consistent feedback and mutual accountability.
#4 – Restructure Company Meetings
Businesses with an inclusive culture empower every team member, acknowledging their unique voice in making an impactful difference through their roles.
Company leaders can achieve this by replacing traditional meeting structures with alternative methods (e.g., using a Pomodoro timer that allocates speaker segments) to give each attendee an equal chance to participate in a discussion.
Dynamic meetings involving every participant improve employee engagement, promote an inclusive culture, and prevent faulty decision-making processes.
For example, companies can avoid HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) bias, when teams rely on the highest paid employees during critical decision-making.
You have a higher chance of leading positive culture change by avoiding rigid top-down mandates.
#5 – Nurture Psychological Safety
Company leaders can help build an inclusive culture by setting an example through their thoughts, words, and actions.
Industry research shows strong evidence of how employees model their leader’s behavior, including presenteeism and abusive behavior. The same applies to positive actions and interactions that foster psychological safety needed for an inclusive culture.
Company leaders should establish and maintain psychological safety at work through empathetic employee strategies like active listening, and encouraging feedback or suggestions through open-door policies.
Why I wrote this?
Ongig continues to advance its mission of creating effective and inclusive job descriptions. This mission directly relates to creating an inclusive culture in the modern workplace. Optimizing JDs with Ongig helps you leave a winning impression, attracting more top talent.
- Georgene Huang (Forbes) – 90% Of Fortune 500 Companies Already Have A Solution To Gender Equality But Aren’t Utilizing It
- Heidi Lynne Kurter (Forbes) Hiring Managers, Here Are 4 Useful Tips To Create More Inclusive Job Descriptions
- Anthony Karcz (Forbes) – Try One Of These 5 Pomodoro Timer Apps To Help You Stay Focused
- Taylor and Francis Online – Leaders as role models: Effects of leader presenteeism on employee presenteeism and sick leave
- The University of Nevada – Breaking the Cycle: The Effects of Role Model Performance and Ideal Leadership Self-Concepts on Abusive Supervision Spillover
- Paige Bennett (Hubspot) – 5 Open Door Policy Examples
- HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion, highest paid person in the office) (by Ed Burns)