There are several reasons why it is important for inclusive culture to become the norm rather than the exception. An inclusive culture involves the full and successful integration of diverse people into a work place or industry. An inclusive culture indicates a climate in which respect, equity and positive recognition of differences are all cultivated.
In the business world perfectionism, power and competitiveness are often qualities that are glorified. The majority of cultures want to be seen as stronger and better than the competition but what some companies fail to acknowledge is that when this behaviour becomes ingrained in the organisation it influences the way employees interact with one another. However, studies show that both men and women want an inclusive work culture that emphasize on integrity, collaboration that helps them reach their full potential and support other.
Creating an inclusive work environment is an effective way to make all employees feel welcome and comfortable within a workplace. Fostering this type of environment will likely improve employee satisfaction, happiness and even productivity. Creating an environment of this type, however, requires a lot of hard work toward helping workers overcome their fears. In order to achieve an environment in which workers of all backgrounds and experiences feel welcome, the task has be dealt with from a number of directions.
Anyone can feel like the ‘other’ in the workplace. This feeling can arise from a number of different factors, but very often it is the result of being separate from the majority due to characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender and nationality. The feeling of separation means that people may take on the status of an outsider, that they do not feel part of a team; feel excluded from opportunities and consequently may also take a step backward and separate themselves even more.
Change can only be made if the management starts listening, understand and come up with solutions that will address the barriers that minority groups face. These are some steps that make employees feel more welcome and included:
- Step 1: Address inclusion issues immediately. If any issues of discrimination arise deal with them instantly by speaking to the employees who have engaged in discriminatory practices. Also, make it clear that disciplinary sanctions will take place if employees engage in discrimination.
- Step 2: Allow for celebration of all cultural festivities. Offices tend to celebrate only mainstream cultural celebrations, such as Christmas. To transform the workspace into an inclusive one, celebrating cultural celebrations of all varieties is important.
- Step 3: Encourage all employees to reach their full potential. In an inclusive environment, workers of all backgrounds should have equal access to success. Be an inspiration and motivate all workers to advance within the workplace.
- Step 4: Show all employees that inclusion is a priority. Make an inclusion an emphasis within the workplace and come up with developmental activities that help foster an inclusive society.
Embracing diversities means creating a workplace where people of all backgrounds and cultures feel included, welcome, and valued. Inclusion involves embracing the differences and capturing the advantages they provide.