In today’s world, the idea of an inclusive workplace is very popular. It is a topic that people discuss across industries and careers. Business leaders are making this top of priority in workplaces. But exactly what is an inclusive workplace?
This is a question that has bothered me for a while as an entrepreneur. So, I have done some research to find out what an inclusive workplace is.
This is with an aim of helping you make or create an inclusive workplace.
Therefore, an inclusive workplace makes diverse employees feel valued, welcome, integrated and included in the workforce instead of isolated.
What is an inclusive workplace?
An inclusive workplace is one where people with all kinds of differences feel welcome and valued for their contributions.
An inclusive workplace is a place where people from diverse backgrounds have the same opportunities for advancement as co-workers.
What is an inclusive workplace in the oil and gas industry?
An inclusive workplace in the context of upstream oil and gas is the working environment that values individual and group differences within its work force. This kind of an environment would enable your company to embrace the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of the employees.
Oil and gas operations are global by nature, and bring together people from different backgrounds and nationalities. By promoting an inclusive workplace, an organization can increase the employee’s talent, innovation, creativity and contributions.
How to Create an Inclusive Workplace
This is how you can create an inclusive workplace include;
- Establishing a sense of ownership for your team.
- Provides empathetic leadership.
- Do not use top-down approach.
- Talent quotas do not automate inclusive workplace.
- Have a continuous inclusive workplace program.
- Increase happiness joy and reduce fear.
- Focus on helping individuals thrive.
- Find out what your brand means.
- Create a Collaborative Environment.
- Ensure you have a strategic alignment.
- Having Learning and Development Opportunities.
Creating diversity in the workplace is not only important in today’s world, but a success imperative.
This includes, but is not limited to such issues as race, ethnicity, age, education, geographical location and personality among others.
11 Top Strategies to Create an Inclusive Workplace Today
There are many ways in which you can create an inclusive workplace. In this section, we look at eleven top strategies you can use to have an inclusive environment today;
Establish a sense of ownership for your team
It is important to establish a sense of ownership to your employees for them to bring their A-game to your workplace.
This sense of belonging to the organization or people will make you see greater engagement and improved results.
Provide empathetic leadership
In most companies, diversity and inclusion issues are usually handled by the HR department.
However, if you want to see real change, you need to provide leadership with a dose of empathy. Your entire leadership team should be the drivers of promoting an inclusive workplace.
Do not use the top-down approach
Companies in oil and gas sometimes have top-down approaches to drive diversity and inclusion.
However, this approach is good at promoting compliance, without commitment.
You will achieve more if you can be able to show or make every employee understand their role in company culture. Aim to create an experience for each employee.
Talent quotas do not automate inclusive workplace
Talent hiring goals can boost diversity numbers. However, this will not create an inclusive workplace or culture.
It is common for business leaders to focus diversity and inclusion efforts on hiring diverse employees. Inclusion should go beyond employment offers.
For you to retains and nurture top talent, it is important to take an honest look at the end-to-end employee experience.
Have a continuous inclusive workplace program
It is not enough to teach employees what it means to be inclusive.
Like any form of behavior change, inclusion requires individuals to identify key moments in which to build new habits by daily actions that can be practiced and measured.
And when these habits are put into action in an environment that supports honest conversations and healthy tension, real change becomes possible.
Increase happiness joy and reduce fear
People are primed to react with fear and distrust when their beliefs are challenged.
While fear can be a great motivator, it also encourages people to narrow their perspectives. This is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve in creating an inclusive workplace.
You should find ways to frame challenges through a lens of possibility. This will provide you with a greater potential for positive change.
It will help you to elevate the power of shared experiences and you can use storytelling to do so.
Focus on helping individuals thrive
The norms, power structures, and inequities in society can easily become embedded in an organization. This includes optimizing to hire, train, and rewarding people who ‘fit’.
However, creating a culture where every individual can contribute their full potential requires investigating the systems and processes in your organization.
This will help you to uncover sore spots and blind spots, and then finding ways to re-imagine them.
Find out what your brand means
Your brand means something, and this is connected to your company’s culture.
The products or services you put in the world reflect your values, and also your biases.
In your journey toward building a more inclusive organization, it is important to consider the relationship between what is happening inside and outside your company.
What is your brand saying about who you are as a culture? In what ways is your employee base not congruent with your customer base? What experiences are being left out or misunderstood?
Create a Collaborative Environment
As an entrepreneur or business leader, it is very important to create a collaborative environment. This is one way in which you can ensure that you have a great workplace.
Your employee appreciate being involved in what you and the business is creating or doing.
Ensure you have a Strategic Alignment.
In many cases, you will find that leaders and the employees are not aligned. This creates problems.
It is worse where there is diversity.
To solve this issue, it is important for the leadership to explain why having an inclusive office is important.
This kind of a strategic alignment will help the leaders, managers and employees to put the strategy into action.
Having Learning and Development Opportunities.
Employees who have access to learning and development opportunities know that their company cares about their ideas, aspirations and growth.
This is something that shows your business is keen to have an inclusive workplace.
These are some of the strategies you can use to achieve or create a workplace that is welcoming to all diverse workers you might have.
What are the benefits of an inclusive workplace?
If you are a business leader or entrepreneur, you might be wondering why you should consider the idea of an inclusive workplace.
The truth is that creating an enabling working environment is good for your business. Studies have shown that diversity is good for your bottom-line.
Here are some of the benefits of having an inclusive workplace;
- Higher job satisfaction.
- Lower turnover.
- Higher productivity.
- Higher employee morale.
- Improved problem solving throughout the organization.
- Increased creativity and innovation.
In conclusion, you have seen that policies on an inclusive workplace will mean better engagement and talent retention in your organization.
Making diversity a priority is very important.
You should now consider the next logical step: creating an inclusive workplace culture.
Inclusion is the key to actually maintaining diversity in your business or organization
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Inclusive Workplace Culture?
An inclusive workplace culture is a situation that provides a working environment in which respect, equity and positive recognition of differences are embraced.
Having such a work environment is important in promotion of diversity and inclusion.
It ensures that diversity poses no barrier to a great employment or working experience at the office or in an organization.
Having an inclusive workplace culture helps or makes diversity work.
What is an Inclusive Workplace Model?
As we discussed above, it is good business to have a working environment that values the individual and group differences within its work force.
In this regard, an inclusive workplace model is one that makes diverse employees feel valued, welcome, integrated and included in the workforce instead of isolated.
How can you know if an organization is inclusive?
As you seek an opportunity to work, you need to find out if an organization promotes diversity and inclusion.
The following are the six ways in which you can know if a company is inclusive;
- Research online including the company’s website.
- Have a look at the organization’s employees.
- Find out what the core values of an organization are.
- Ask those questions during interview sessions
- Talk to current employees or your networks.
- Check the employee benefits they provide.
How can you be inclusive at work?
I know you are now wondering how to make this happen. It is not difficult if you are focused.
The way you can ensure that your office is inclusive is by doing the following;
- Have an open mind.
- Support your staff.
- Connect with your employees at a personal level.
- Ensure everyone is safe in your office.
- Accept and celebrate differences in the office.
- Be proactive about inclusion.
What are the characteristics of an inclusive workplace?
The following are the characteristics or components of an inclusive environment;
- Having a voice.
- Sense of uniqueness.
- Feeling valued.
- Learning and development.
- Collaborative environment.
- Access to resources.
- Strategic alignment.