Diversity and inclusion may not be at the top of your mind with so many employees working remotely right now. However, it is more important than ever to take your inclusion efforts seriously. Employees need to feel supported by their superiors in this tumultuous time – and creating an environment that fosters inclusion is one of the best ways to provide encouragement. Below are a few ways you can start creating a workplace diversity and inclusion program.
Understand Your Company Culture and Identify Areas of Concern
Before you implement a workplace diversity and inclusion program, you need to take stock of what your company is already doing. First, gather all the facts by taking a census of your workplace. Break it down by race, gender, disability, age, and nationality to start with.
Make sure that you give employees the opportunity to opt out and keep the results anonymous. Employees need to feel comfortable in order to accurately report information.
Once you have the results back, take a hard look at the data and ask yourself some questions:
- Is one demographic overrepresented or underrepresented?
- Do some departments seem to prefer one demographic over another?
- Does your company manage to retain minority demographics?
You should also include a more subjective survey with your census. Ask the tough questions. Do employees feel that the company is diverse? Are they comfortable bringing up issues to management? Do individuals with diversabilities (diverse abilities) have all the tools they need to properly do their jobs?
Start Working with Your Team
Once you have an idea of what you need to focus on, bring in the team you want to help drive the initiative. Maybe this is HR or a diversity and inclusion council made up of people from different departments. Whoever you choose, it is critical for them to understand what the goals are and to be committed to the program.
In fact, it is a good practice to have the group help with setting actionable goals. They can then collaborate to create both short-term and long-term plans. There are a few things that every good workplace diversity and inclusion plan should include:
- Ongoing training
- Employee feedback
- Regular assessments for effectiveness
Once your team has an action plan in place, it is time to implement it.
Implementing Your Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Plan
Implementation of a diversity and inclusion program likely will not come as a surprise to your employees, especially if you were open about the reason for the census from step one. Most employees will get excited about this type of program, since it has benefits for the entire company.
Together with the team you chose to help initiate the program, you can start creating a workplace that is more comfortable and inclusive for everyone on your staff.
Do you have questions about the best way to create a workplace diversity and inclusion program? Applied Development can help. We have experience creating these programs from the ground up. Give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us on the website for more information.