Top 6 Tips to Running an Inclusive & Diverse Business
Many businesses list inclusivity and diversity as core values.
The MacMillian Dictionary provides an easy definition for the two concepts:
Inclusivity: the fact of including all types of people, things or ideas and treating them all fairly and equally.
Diversity: the fact that very different people or things exist within a group or place.
But how do you actually create an inclusive and diverse environment in your business?
We’ve got a few tips for you!
1. Ensure you have an inclusive recruitment process
If you want to foster an inclusive and diverse workforce, you’ve got to start with step one – the recruitment process.
You may not realise that the structure of your job advertisements may be barring perfectly capable candidates from applying. From listing unnecessary requirements (like a driver’s license for a desk job) or even the format in which you set up the application (such as not being accessible for screen readers), there are many factors that can make your recruitment process inaccessible.
Check out this article on the Australian HR Institute website on ways to make your recruitment process more accessible.
2. Write it into your policies
Your business’ policies underpin what values you’re committed to and they way in which you’ll enact these values in your workplace. That’s why it’s vital that you cover the ‘big three’ into your policies: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Policies act as a roadmap for employees to follow and understand what is expected of them. This may include what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable, and how to report and resolve issues around discrimination.
Check out this handy article on how to write an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
3. Make sure your website is accessible
Have you ever considered whether your website is set up for someone with vision impairment? Does someone need to have a Master’s degree to understand your About page?
Setting up your website for people with disability doesn’t just make it more accessible for them. Measures like ensuring colour contrasts are easy to read, text is understandable and headings are descriptive will make it easier for everyone who wants to access information on your website!
Check out the Web Accessibility Initiative’s accessibility principles.
4. Educate your workforce
Inclusion and diversity training will help your workforce understand why these values are important. It’s more than just meeting organisational goals; it’s about respecting, working together and removing conscious and unconscious biases so everyone feels safe and happy in the workplace.
Check out Indeed’s guide to implementing inclusion and diversity training.
5. Ensure people are comfortable to speak up
It’s important that the you staff feel comfortable to bring up their unique concerns with your workplace. Being open to having conversations about someone’s diverse perspective makes them feel valued and also offers insight into different priorities, factors or blind spots in your business that you may not have considered.
For example, an older team member might have trouble using the technology and offer some good ideas on how to make it easier to use. Another team member may require religious holidays off and is unable to use Annual Leave due to child caring commitments in school holidays.
If people feel comfortable speaking up about their struggles, you’ll be able to identify ways you can improve your business and build a happy workforce.
6. Build partnerships that support your inclusion and diversity goals
Go straight to the experts and build partnerships with community groups and diversity bodies that will help you facilitate your diversity and inclusion goals. They can provide advice, resources or memberships that may benefit you and your staff.
Here’s a list of a few organisations to consider: