In an increasingly diverse workplace, it is important for employers and employees to understand what inclusion means. Though used interchangeably, diversity is limited to the presence of differing opinions or backgrounds in a work environment, while inclusion is a culture that embraces those aspects of diversity and celebrating them. It is the difference between having people of all types employed in an office and developing an appreciation for the differences between those people.
Strive for Both Diversity and Inclusion
Many companies are forced to embrace diversity because of anti-discrimination laws and policies. However, it takes concerted efforts to achieve a culture that supports workplace inclusion. Humans beings should naturally be supportive of one another, but this doesn’t always happen. Leadership needs to demonstrate more forward-thinking connections and train their employees to do the same.
Ways to Achieve Inclusion
The company needs policies that are open-minded and appreciate creativity. Differences need to be celebrated, and employees should feel confident that their differences are valuable to the company. You can use monthly celebrations to highlight unique aspects of culture or practice among your employees, helping everyone in the office feel more comfortable with their peers. Continually seek out feedback. Have an open-door policy where employees can connect and express concerns over the culture or challenges in the workplace.
Data shows that focusing on inclusivity can lead to greater workplace productivity. Happy employees are confident, valued, and comfortable in their work environment.