Nowadays, businesses must go beyond traditional sales and marketing strategies to create a brand that lasts. Most crucial to future-proofing your business is inclusion, which is of the utmost importance today as various types of workplace discrimination remain prevalent. By diversifying the communities and groups represented and accommodated in your business, your opportunities for growth and networking are also likely to expand.
Why should your business prioritize inclusion?
The benefits of centering inclusion in your business can be observed in various areas of the organization. Employees will trust the company more and feel empowered to perform better. Audiences and clients alike will also perceive your business more positively when they see you implement inclusion through genuine structural changes. This improved reputation could even entice more skilled professionals to apply to your company as well.
If these reasons convince you, know that you must utilize the expertise of your HR professionals before anything else to uphold inclusion in your company more effectively. After all, professionals undertaking a human resource management career have the skills needed to satisfy employee wants and needs while keeping them engaged. This can be through designing retainment strategies that help employees feel more involved, creating a conducive environment for them to work in using open-communication policies or ergonomic equipment, and even building benefits packages that help with matters like health insurance and pension. Since there are various ways a business can become more inclusive, you can collaborate with them to find out which methods align most with your brand’s ethos. Below are a few you can try.
How can you integrate inclusion into the company?
Diversify your executives and leaders
A company's leadership will helm the change in prioritizing inclusivity. This is why you should start by embodying the principle of inclusion in your leadership roles. You can take cues from companies like Chico’s FAS Inc., Etsy, and the H&M group, all of women in board positions and at least 35% in executive roles. It’s also imperative that the people promoted to such roles are knowledgeable about inclusion. To enable them to do so, provide leadership seminars and workshops where leaders can equip themselves with the skills needed to effectively uphold inclusion in the workplace.
Set up an impartial hiring process
Building a diverse workforce fosters the exchange of ideas from different perspectives. And as we’ve discussed in our blog post, such diversity in perspectives can help your company push for social innovation. You can leverage this to help your business stand out from your competitors in today's fierce job market. You can start making your hiring process more impartial by selecting a more diverse hiring committee to prevent unconscious prejudice. You can also explicitly invite applicants of all backgrounds in your job postings or advertise the diversity of your workforce and client base on your website.
Provide equal learning opportunities to your employees
Promoting inclusion in your workforce means allowing employees equal access to learning opportunities. And aside from a consequential boost in employee performance, equal opportunities can even increase employee retention. Particularly in the case of people and women of color, 58% of employees would leave if their company didn't support their skills development. To embed inclusion in your development programs, you can ensure that your training materials are available in the various languages your employees speak. You can also consider designing your upskilling programs in bite-sized formats so that even your busiest workers can access such learning opportunities.
Businesses are always looking for ways to grow and stand out. Integrating inclusivity will future-proof your brand and set you apart from your competitors.
Written for ducere.education by Jasmine Bosch