Inclusion and diversity are vital in today’s global economic climate and help build successful businesses that strive for excellence.
Companies that achieve a high level of gender diversity tend to outperform their competitors by 15%, while those that are ethnically diverse increase that lead up to 35%.
As you can see from these figures, organizations that embrace diversity and offer inclusive work places, far surpass those that don’t in terms of performance.
By taking the lead in inclusive working philosophies these companies are able to offer a variety of perspectives for problem solving, increase creativity, adapt to differing outlooks, and improve global working relationships both internally and externally.
When employees who are different from their colleagues feel freedom to flourish, the company benefits from their ideas, skills and engagement.
The following tips can help you build, and sustain an inclusive team.
1. Train your Management
Management and leadership, who are well-trained and on-board with diverse and inclusive company principles, will be better placed to lead culturally diverse teams.
They will be the front line with employees, so ensuring they can communicate effectively in a multicultural environment, understand their own biases (and how to overcome them), and know how to encourage inclusive behaviour, will make the success of your diverse team more likely.
Offer training courses for cultural awareness, and have regular feedback meetings to assess how things progressing.
Establish a working culture that encourages different points of views; in meetings reviews and all interactions, so that inclusivity is supported from the top down.
Periodically evaluate professional development to ensure that leadership are confident and capable within their role, and know how to deal with real-life issues such as disabilities or religious difference.
2. Celebrate Difference
A good way of showing employees that you respect their native culture and tradition is by inviting them to share them with others within the workplace.
For instance, if you have an office in the Middle East that employees foreign workers from the UK, then celebrating events such as Eid Al Fitr and Christmas alike will mean that they can share the experience of others’ festivals and celebrations. This will improve empathy and understanding between employees and give a sense of value to more isolated individuals.
Diversity in teams leads to greater innovation and creativity but without inclusive working principles this diversity can lead to isolation and conflict.
Celebrating the differences between employees and their backgrounds will lead to education, understanding and improved performance.
3. Listen to your Employees
In order to better understand different perspectives it is vital that you are able to listen effectively, without prejudice, and offer a safe place in which employees can express their views without fear of negativity or judgement.
Some companies find open meetings (town-hall style) useful, as it encourages communication across all levels and offers an opportunity to express views in an informal method.
These meetings can be a great space for voicing concerns, asking questions, offering solutions and mixing with different levels and people to those you usually deal with, as all employees and leaders should attend.
4. Inclusivity Goals and Progress
In order to effectively judge how diverse and inclusive your work place is, it must first be measured and benchmarked, then an objective can be set that is SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) as you would with any other goal.
Consider conducting an audit of employees and your HR principles (including recruitment, training, and employee retention) as this will give you a clear picture of where you are starting.
From this you can assess any gaps, or measurable discrepancies, where diversity and inclusivity are concerned, then you can look at crafting a plan that encourages the behaviour and outcomes you desire.
Managing culturally diverse teams can be both challenging and rewarding. If you would like to know about how Creative Word Training can improve your chances of success, please contact us.