And we’re back with Part 2! Ready to take on the final 6 steps to a more inclusive company? Please note that even after you have taken on all 15 steps, you shouldn’t stop reviewing and developing. Creating an inclusive company is an ongoing process and you should always keep your eyes and ears open for ways to improve the corporate environment.
November 2, 2021
If you’re an able-bodied person you have the privilege to not think about office accessibility. But stop right there. Because as an employer, or collogue, it’s your responsibility to think about this! Inclusivity isn’t only about gender, sexual orientation, religion, heritage, etc. It’s also about access for all and removing the physical barriers to inclusion.
A good start to your making office more accessible for disabled people is to have a look at this article by Chron. Even if your team currently doesn’t include people with disabilities, still consider your front access, parking placement, toilet accessibility, and rest facilities and make wheelchair-friendly adjustments.
Also consider the language you use when referring to accessible toilets, parking-lots, etc. A great article on this matter in this PDF by AUCD.
Does you cantina offer diverse and healthy choices? Are there vegan options? Halal options? Gluten-free options? Dairy-free options? Healthy snacks? Etc.
Take the time to ask your employees about their dietary needs. Don’t judge, just ask and consider what options you can give them.
Make sure everybody feels respected and understood and create time for healthy lunches and food breaks. We don’t want ‘Sad Desk Lunches’ in our office. Not sure what this is? Read this article by The Atlantic to learn what you DON’T want in your office.
Oh, the wonders of Slack and other work-social-platforms. The never-ending stream of e-mails and the constant string of messages. It’s important to respect the downtime time of your employees and colleagues. Senior managers set the tone and an email sent at 2 am is likely to stress an employee.
Set limits on Slack, normalize the behavior of not replying to emails after a set time, and create offline mornings, so people can dive into work undisturbed. Constant, 24/7 online behaviors do not lead to productive environments. In fact, the reverse is true. Create space for your to set limits and boundaries.
For more about the importance of deep work, we recommend reading the book ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.
A diversity team is a team of trained professionals who understand company structure and complex inclusion issues. Understand the impact and importance this has on your company and pay people accordingly. Diversity teams are not charity projects or ‘a great opportunity’, they are valuable assets to the company and they should get paid adequately.
Not everybody is an outgoing, ‘Type A’ kind of person. Some people are shy. Some people don’t enjoy the spotlight. Some people may never have experienced sharing their ideas. Respect people’s personalities and figure out how to get the most out of your employees.
Is it the same someone who always leads in a team meeting? Then ask someone else to present their ideas this time. Is there someone who never speaks up? Have a one-on-one conversation to see how you can create an environment where they can be more open.
Make sure your team understands that creating an inclusive environment is not about management setting targets or about adding a diversity team to the company and leaving it at that. Creating an inclusive environment means everybody has to chip in, provide feedback, be open, and take care of one another. Make sure everybody feels part of this process and ask for input and feedback. This truly is an all-hands-on-deck kinda job.
Creating an inclusive work environment is not a ‘task and finish’ job. Understand that people change, ideologies change, policies change, and company culture will have to adapt with it.
Create regular check-ins with your team (your whole team) to see how things are going. Be open to feedback and improvements and keep expanding the ways in which your company is truly inclusive because we promise you, it’s so worth it.
We hope this list of 15 items has inspired you to become more inclusive in your own company. Did you find value in this or do you have some tips yourself? Make sure to let us know! Are you looking for some extra help, you can always shoot us an e-mail and we can see what help we can provide.