Having a diversity and inclusion (D&I) policy in the workplace is a necessity today. Prospective employees want to know what kind of company culture they are coming to work for and a big part of that is knowing that the workplace is both diverse and welcoming.
Not only is it an important factor in career opportunities but diversity and inclusion efforts also play an important role in the mental health of your current employees.
Create a Space of Psychological Safety
In psychology, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs covers what a person requires in order to be their best self. Second, right after meeting physiological needs, is feeling safe and secure. When someone does not feel safe in the workplace, there is no way for them to perform at their best.
They need to know that the work environment is inclusive and friendly. Additionally, they need to know that if they ever feel uncomfortable or find themselves in a situation where there is clearly a strong inequality, that they can go to a manager or someone in power safely and without judgment.
Additionally, people are much more likely to share and feel empowered in a workplace where they feel seen and heard for their personal, unique perspectives. This benefits both the employee and the employer.
Improve Equity for Mental Health Services
Education and equity are both critical for mental health in and out of the workplace. Creating a workplace climate of belonging enables all to connect, inspire, and strengthen relationships – creating a climate of belonging. Through developing a culture of agility and innovation, the ensuing increased employee engagement will improve both equity service deliveries and accessibility for everyone. When an organization commits to improving its diversity and inclusion initiatives and there is psychological safety throughout, the gaps in equity for mental health services will exponentially narrow.
One great way to begin doing that is to create an open, honest space for conversation leading to meaningful dialogue. Dialogue is the key to developing the cultural competencies which creates respect, understanding and appreciation for each other’s life experiences and challenges. It is also helpful to provide free or low-cost mental health resources to employees so that they feel comfortable reaching out. Having a phone number at their fingertips makes it much easier to initiate that first conversation.
How Your Organization Can Implement Diversity and Inclusion Policies for Mental Health
If your organization has not begun creating diversity and inclusion initiatives, you should begin making that push right away. Below are some previous articles that we have written on diversity and inclusion to get you started:
- How to create a workplace diversity and inclusion program
- 4 tips for creating a positive corporate culture
- 4 things you need to know about diversability in the workplace
When your organization shows that it cares about diversity and the people that it hires, employees are much more likely to find satisfaction in their jobs. Additionally, retention rates improve and employees are able to perform to the top of their ability.
Creating an environment that fosters mental health and wellbeing is a winning situation for everyone involved. If you have questions about implementing a diversity and inclusion initiative at your organization or would like to have your current one audited, Applied Development can help.
Give us a call today at 410.571.4016 or contact us online for more information on improving mental health in the workplace.