Six top tips for igniting inclusion in the workplace.

Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand – you can’t have one without the other. But sometimes, organisations put more emphasis on diversity and forget about inclusion. It’s easy to think that inclusion will just happen, but it’s not that simple – you have to work to create it. Read our top tips on simple ways you and your organisation can do this.

More voices means more ideas

Make sure everyone’s views and not just your leadership team’s, is represented at the decision-making table. Proposing an idea to staff/colleagues, then asking them all to provide some form of feedback is a great way to do this. And keep it up! Continue to get regular input from everyone in your organisation. Of course, we don’t mean do this with every minor thing, but do it when it comes to decisions that affect everyone, or where broader perspectives could be beneficial – give everyone a voice.

Meeting mix up

If you have regular meetings, consider switching out the facilitator each time to give everyone an opportunity to manage the agenda. This not only makes meetings more interesting and engaging, but giving different people the opportunity to lead also ensures that those who might not regularly speak up in meetings get the chance to have their say.

Cater for introverts and extroverts

Remember that not everyone will feel comfortable in the same environment, so add variety to your meetings. For example, instead of giving a presentation and asking for on the spot feedback or questions, consider pre-sending an overview of the presentation and give the opportunity for people to supply questions via email ahead of the meeting. That way, those who don’t like speaking up in a group can still get a chance to shine.

Get serious about diversity and inclusion in the Change up the time of company events 

Having company events after work may exclude certain groups of people, especially the part of your workforce that has a family to get home to. Try and schedule events – both corporate and social – at lunchtime or before work. This gives everyone an opportunity to attend and means the same people aren’t missing out every time.

Talk about something other than work

Any opportunity for colleagues to learn more about each other as people and to share and listen to each other’s stories is a great way to create and foster empathy in the workplace. Small things, like starting up a conversation in the staff kitchen, or doing a daily newspaper quiz with your team will help to relax the environment and get people talking.

Avoid Making Assumptions

Lastly, don’t assume. Assumptions damage our capacity to relate to others and can lead to stereotyping – which can cause major problems in relationships. If you assume you know how others think and feel, or who they are and how they live, you stop listening and communicating, leading them to feel misunderstood.

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