8 ways to showcase your inclusive values

People perform better when they feel they can be themselves. Having a working environment where staff are encouraged to bring their whole selves to the workplace is now even more important than ever.

Here, Inclusive Employers Consultant, Cheryl, shares her tips to ensure that your commitment to inclusion is visible to all your employees.

Here are 8 ways to showcase your commitment to inclusion within your organisation:

1. Inclusive internal communications

Whatever you are communicating, try to look at it through a D&I lens. Ensure that you are sharing one connected message. One that connects to your organisation’s values. Display diversity through celebrating awareness events with disabled colleagues. Use gender neutral clothing and images of dark-skinned models with dreadlocks that are visible and accessible to all. Whether it’s displays, posters, flyers, social media posts and websites, each of these touchpoints in the employee’s journey matters. Workplace representation matters to create an inclusive working environment.

2. Have an active diversity calendar

By partnering your communications, HR and staff networks together you can create awareness events throughout the year.  This will help your employees recognise different social groups that make up the communities within your organisation. From here you can create intersectional events which will engage, inform and educate at all levels of within your organisation. The Inclusive Employers diversity calendar is a great resource for keeping up-to-date with important dates on the inclusion calendar.

3. Creating a prayer room in your office

The concept of bringing your whole self to work has been around for a while. For some organisations, that means providing a place for introspection—somewhere employees may pray, meditate, reflect—regardless of their faith or absence of one. Some of the benefits to having a quiet room are that it shows your commitment to diversity, which can help attract talent. It can also motivate your current employees. They no longer must feel embarrassed or feel they need to justify their actions to others. This can help boost engagement, morale, and productivity.

4. Support and highlight your staff networks

By shining a spotlight onto your staff networks you are helping reinforce your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Staff networks can help you reinforce your business strategy and values. They are also a great source of information on their chosen topic and can support in the updating of policies and the recruitment process. 

5. Introduce food from around the world

Introduce a world food menu to your canteen, by celebrating awareness dates with culinary events. There is nothing tastier than introducing different community’s food into the workplace.  It promotes good conversation and educates your employees.

6. Disability friendly workplace

How accessible is your workplace and who is it accessible to? When thinking about adapting the working environment, we need to look at removing physical barriers and also consider those with non-visible disabilities. Ensure that information is provided in accessible format and possibly make some changes to how work is organised. All employees should have access to support as and when they need it.

7. Hot desking

Hot desking encourages employees to sit and work alongside people outside of their regular teams. This can have the effect of creating a more inclusive and collaborative working environment. Often, employees sit according to their team and this can produce a mentality of “us” and “them”. At this time with more staff requesting flexible it’s important to utilise space and cost wherever we can. 

8. Authenticity

As we all continue our D&I journeys, we need to ensure that how we choose to display inclusion is not seen as a tick box exercise.  It’s very easy to put something on social media and think that the job is done.  However, we need to avoid this and seek advice from your specialist in D&I and Staff Networks. Each of these groups will support you and ensure that your message is clear and that the culture of your company is a continued success.

When raising awareness of inclusion and showcasing your values, it’s important to note that inclusive environments can attract and retain the most diverse and best talent, as well as supporting your current employees.

During National Inclusion Week we encourage you to show that everyone is welcomed and valued – in fact, this is our Daily Action for Day 1! We’d love to see how your organisation is showcasing your values, tag @IncEmp on Twitter and @InclusiveEmployers on LinkedIn to show us how you ensure that everyone is welcome at your organisation.

Explore our website or get in touch to find out more about how we can work together to make workplace inclusion a reality in your organisation.