Are you curious if your company’s diversity and inclusion efforts are truly effective? As an employee, you can determine if the company you work for has an inclusive culture.
Here you’ll find out what genuine inclusivity is, how it affects you, and the steps you can take to help cultivate it with your colleagues.
Inclusivity Makes Diversity Work
Many people interchange the meaning of diversity and inclusion, but those words are actually interconnected. Diversity pertains to the representation or make-up of unique individuals within an organization. Meanwhile, inclusion pertains to how the skills, perspectives, and contributions of these people are acknowledged and integrated into the environment they’re in.
A 2020 McKinsey survey on Understanding Organizational Barriers to a More Inclusive Workplace found that many employees have considered a company’s inclusiveness when making decisions regarding their careers, but almost half of responding employees didn’t feel included at work.
Most respondents encountered barriers to a sense of inclusion regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or race. The study found that some employee groups are more likely to feel less included. Only 44 percent of vice presidents and people in junior roles felt included.
50 percent of female employees and 50 percent of ethnic or racial minorities said they are included. Meanwhile, the inclusion of LGBTQ+ employees have a more positive result: 65 percent of them say they feel included.¹
Diversity is great, but when not handled properly, it can lead to organizational challenges instead such as conflicts between different perspectives. To work well with people of different backgrounds, inclusion must take effect to unify these differences.
Related Reading: The Importance of Diversity in Tech Companies
Inclusion Advances Career: The Benefits of Working in an Inclusive Team
Inclusion can help you grow in a healthy workplace where you’re appreciated. Here are the benefits of being in an inclusive workplace culture.
You Feel Empowered and Have Access to Resources
In an inclusive workplace, you have access to valuable resources and support systems. This may include technology tools, resource groups, and solutions that enhance your work experience. You can also rely on open communication with your manager to address any concerns.
Being supported by your managers or affinity and diversity groups lets you know your organization is committed to your growth and well-being. This can be seen through initiatives like health and wellness benefits, fostering a sense of belonging and care.
With the right support, you can contribute more effectively to the company. Knowing that you are part of a supportive team encourages you to excel and seek assistance when needed. This can result in greater confidence and productivity.
You’re Valued and Accepted for Who You are
You can feel a greater sense of satisfaction and value when your uniqueness is appreciated because you feel connected to a common cause.
Have you ever doubted yourself? Doubts can arise when employees feel undervalued by their employers. This causes them to question their contributions. If you’ve ever felt unseen, try actively asking your managers and colleagues for feedback
Engage in coaching sessions and intentional conversations to gain recognition for your achievements and identify areas for improvement. This not only helps you acknowledge your accomplishments but also demonstrates that you value others’ ideas and opinions.
Reaching out to others allows you to foster meaningful exchanges in the workplace. This creates an environment where both you and your colleagues feel heard and included. Cultivating open and respectful communication also leads to a greater sense of belonging for everyone involved.
You Have a Voice and are Listened to by Teammates and Superiors
In inclusive workspaces, you have the right to make decisions that affect your work. Your leaders and managers allow you to suggest solutions or even take charge of certain projects.
An inclusive team lets you state your opinion and hears you out even if what you have contrasting opinions. This is because they trust your ideas and believe that you have great things to contribute to the team.
Related Reading: Ask These 3 Questions to Understand a Company’s Culture
You’re Given Opportunities to Learn and Develop Your Skills
Having access to learning and development opportunities from your employer demonstrates their investment in your growth, career aspirations, and ideas. These opportunities also pave the way for you to advance within the company.
Your employer can start mentorship programs or allow you to attend job-related conferences. They can also train you as a team in new technology relevant to your industry. If regular training programs aren’t available, employers can bring in external trainers for seminars and workshops or provide online modules.
As you enhance your knowledge and skills, you contribute fresh insights and expertise to benefit the company. This leads to improved business outcomes and positions you for greater success.
You’re Encouraged to Collaborate with Others
Your employer can foster company-wide inclusion by encouraging collaboration. In this collaborative environment, you have the opportunity to harness your one-of-a-kind strengths and skills while learning from others. This can teach your team to rely on each other and ask for help.
You can start by being an example to your teammates. Offer them help if you think they need assistance with a task. Learn to also ask them for advice when you feel uncertain about your work.
You can build and strengthen trust by openly discussing conflicts you may encounter along the way. This can help you and your teammates to prevent minor conflicts from festering into resentment or mistrust.
You’re Free to Participate in Inclusive Practices
You know you’re in an inclusive workplace when your leaders involve you in implementing inclusive practices. They ask you for your feedback about how you are at work and if there’s anything you hope to be improved in your situation. You also see the results of your feedback.
You are encouraged to share your ideas regarding the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts because you are part of this diverse workforce that they’re trying to build. You don’t feel left out because you’re striving to build a better company culture together.
You Help Create a Sense of Belonging
Feeling that you are included can encourage you to connect with others. This is because you believe that you belong and in return, you make others feel that way too.
Your sense of belongingness can improve employee engagement and your desire to stay in your company. This can encourage you to talk to others about how good your employment has been and may even make them feel the same.
Practice Inclusivity: Steps to Take as an Employee
Inclusivity isn’t just one person’s experience. It’s for you and your colleagues. Here are a few ways you can help others feel that they belong.
Celebrate and Embrace Differences
Show respect for your teammates’ diverse backgrounds by actively engaging and learning about their stories. Embrace different traditions and celebrate the richness they bring to the team.
Speak up against exclusion and advocate for inclusivity. You can also support others by using their preferred pronouns and promoting inclusive language when referring to individuals. There are many ways you can celebrate people’s differences, but they all start with respect and understanding.
Promote Genuine Inclusivity
Some of your colleagues may be unfamiliar with what inclusivity truly means and may be unsure how to practice it. You can collaborate with HR to offer training sessions that raise awareness and teach practical ways to foster inclusivity.
Don’t forget to be inclusive at a personal level. Practice active listening and demonstrate genuine appreciation for others’ perspectives and celebrate their uniqueness.
Related Reading: 8 Bold and Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Pride Month at Work
Inclusion Leads to the Whole Team’s Success
When you feel a sense of belonging and can work authentically, your personal and professional growth thrives. You’ll feel secure in your job and be confident in what you do.
This will then lead you to make valuable contributions to your team members and may inspire them to exert as much effort as you do.
WORK WITH INCLUSIVE EMPLOYERS WITH RASO360
Are you looking for an inclusive work environment? Raso360 can help you connect with potential employers so you can belong in a workplace you can be proud of. We’ll help you find work through staff leasing or staff augmentation in IT and engineering. Your success starts here. Get in touch with us today!
1 “Understanding Organizational Barriers to a More Inclusive Workplace.” McKinsey & Company, 23 Jun. 2020, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/understanding-organizational-barriers-to-a-more-inclusive-workplace. Accessed 19 Jul. 2023.