Society has moved on a lot in the past few years, and the workplace should change to reflect this. There has been a major push toward understanding mental health issues in recent memory, but this effort has also drawn attention to other equality issues. It seems that a lot of employees may been suffering in silence, so let’s rectify that. All it takes is a few extra steps to make the workplace feel more inclusive. Read on to find out how to execute these steps.
Listen To Your Employees
The best way for a leader to understand the needs of their employees is by listening to them. You may believe that you have thought of everything when arranging your offices, but it doesn’t take much for an employee to feel uncomfortable. Perhaps a staff member with anxiety struggles with talking on the phone in public. In this instance, you will need to leave a room free so that this employee can talk to clients on the phone in a more comfortable, soundproof environment.
This is just one example, but you will only know how to begin creating a more inclusive work environment when you understand what is missing. Talk to your employees and find out what would help them perform better. As you can see from the example above, it really doesn’t take a lot of effort.
Engage In Inclusive Recruitment
While there are steps that you can take to satisfy your existing employees, inclusivity should start during the hiring process. Inclusive recruitment isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and you will be grateful to have these steps in place moving forward.
The first step in inclusive recruitment is making the interview accessible to all kinds of candidates. This might mean moving the interview to the bottom floor if your building does not have an elevator, allowing more time between candidate interviews, or widening your candidate search to include people that were educated in different ways in far-reaching areas. Once you have a more inclusive team of employees, you can begin to understand your next set of actions.
Include A Unisex Washroom
Our understanding of mental health isn’t the only facet of personality that has improved. The topic of gender is another issue that has recently raised some serious debate, and it can be hard for some employees to open up about their identities in the workplace.
Therefore, you should try to remove the need for concern by including a unisex washroom in your offices. This additional bathroom can help an employee embrace their identity without raising unwanted questions from other employees. You can kit out this washroom with the correct sanitary bins, gender-neutral stalls, and accessibility equipment. If you are ever unsure, check out Woosh, a successful washroom provider that can inform you more about the needs of a unisex bathroom.
Inform Management Staff Of Your Intentions
Everyone that works at your company should also share your inclusive values., otherwise you will find yourself fighting a losing battle. It is no good trying to push for inclusion when the rest of your management staff are not engaging in the practices that you have put in place. Therefore, you should always remain transparent about your inclusive intentions during the hiring process.
What’s more, there is a lot that goes on in the workplace that you cannot be around for. You may also want to provide your managers and staff with a means to provide feedback to keep on top of issues that may arise.
Do Your Research
Every different religion and culture demands a set of behaviours from those who follow this path. Some of these lifestyle choices will go unnoticed in the workplace; however, religious holidays should always be considered. It is your job as a leader to acknowledge these festivities, which could result in some time off for those who celebrate.
Most of the time, though, your focus should be on spreading awareness of these celebrations around the office. A time like Ramadan can be stressful for someone working a nine-to-five job. By making everyone aware of what this employee is going through, you can reduce this stress and make their belief system feel more welcome in the workplace.
Consider Maternity/Paternity Leave
There was a time when female employees could not achieve the same status in the workplace as men, and the most common excuse for this attitude was that women had to leave the workplace when they give birth, leaving their job open for six months or more. However, attitudes have changed since then, and it is now perfectly normal for a father to take paternity leave instead of the mother.
Make sure that your company is prepared for such an outcome by including a stance on both maternity leave and paternity leave. There are laws in place to guide you on how to approach each one, so stick to these where possible and you can make all potential parents feel included in your business.
There is no reason why a modern office shouldn’t be inclusive today. Make sure that you are doing all you can to exercise inclusivity by following the advice above. Just one of these changes could make the world of difference to an employee.