Diversity is something that companies should strive for. It’s not just about having employees of different races, gender, and sexuality; it also includes diversity in thought. But there are many obstacles to achieving this goal. One of the most significant is exclusivity: the idea that people who are like you deserve more respect than others.
This can occur on a small scale within an organization or company when one excludes another because they think they’re better than them. On a larger scale, society excludes groups of people from political power and wealth simply because they look different from them.
The following are some ways to overcome exclusivity and promote diversity in the workplace:
1. Promote Inclusivity in the Job Description
When a job listing asks for “ninja-level HTML skills,” it implies that a person who can’t code well doesn’t deserve to be considered. If there’s a degree listed under requirements, it might mean that someone without a college education isn’t worth finding out more about.
This is one of the most important things to work on when looking for diversity in your company. It may seem trivial, but it sets an expectation for who will apply. You can also change what you ask from prospective employees so that they don’t have to go above and beyond to get noticed.
2. Provide Diversity Training
People become less comfortable with differences as they spend time together. One way to counteract this feeling is by making everyone in the company aware of it and how it can affect people’s behavior. A video about embracing diversity and inclusion and how it affects the workplace would be a great training tool for your employees.
3. Listen to What People Say
When someone tells you that exclusivity affects them, don’t try to downplay their experience or make them feel tokenized. They are trying to communicate something meaningful that will help improve the situation for everyone at work, not just themselves.
Be willing to point out when other people are being exclusive without accusing anyone of being bad or wrong because simply labeling someone as “exclusionary” isn’t always constructive. You want to encourage people to learn from their mistakes and be better, not shame them into silence.
4. Hold People Accountable for Their Actions
It’s easy to do this when it comes to small things like job tasks or who gets called on in meetings. But people must also be held accountable if they make someone feel excluded because of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. It can be uncomfortable to point out another person’s mistake while still trying to remain professional, but the discomfort is worth it in the long run. Doing this will help create a more inclusive workplace and reduce exclusivity within your organization, which will lead to happier employees and better work overall.
5. Provide tools and devices that can help reduce communication barriers
If some employees are deaf or hard of hearing, video remote interpreting (VRI) devices that allow them to video conference with an interpreter can be beneficial. It can make it easier for you to communicate with them at work and help ensure that they don’t miss out on any critical information.
Using a VRI device may also help your company because you’ll have a more diverse workforce, making it easier to find new customers that wouldn’t have been accessible without video relay technology.
6. Plan exclusive events carefully
When planning company-wide events, try to cater to everyone’s interests as much as possible so that no one feels excluded before the event even starts. If there are certain things that people enjoy doing together, like board games or trivia, find a way to build it into the event so that there is less pressure for people to socialize or feel awkward about being alone.
Things like brunch might seem a little odd because it’s breakfast food served at lunchtime, but you can also have lunchtime-themed events, especially if your company works on a set schedule.
7. Take care of your employees
Taking care of all kinds of people means that they will be more able and willing to take care of you in return. So make sure everyone knows how appreciated they are whenever possible by giving them encouraging feedback, thank yous, and ensuring staff members’ needs are met (like having access to video relay interpreting devices). This will not only help promote diversity in the workplace, but it will also help you build a better company culture because people will feel comfortable and happy.
8. Build an inclusive work environment within your team
Even if there isn’t anyone who is noticeably different from everyone else, getting to know each other on a personal level will help everyone get along because they’ll understand what makes the other person tick.
You can do many things to create an inclusive and diverse work environment. It might be a little challenging at first, but all of your hard work will pay off in the long run as your company becomes more desirable to potential employees and clients.