The CIPD states that promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an essential aspect of good people management; it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone can participate and achieve their full potential.

CIPD – Inclusion and Diversity DEI in the Workplace 2022

Diversity in business does not merely mean hiring more people of colour. It requires purposeful change to create an environment of inclusivity.: 

Research has shown many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

  • Higher revenue growth
  • Greater readiness to innovate
  • A sense of belonging
  • Increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool
  • 5.4 times higher employee retention

What can we do now to effect change? We have explored seven ways employers can demonstrate their commitment to workplace diversity and an inclusive workplace. 

1. Be open about gender pay inequality/equality

Being open and honest about the gender pay gap in your organisation will inspire trust and respect from employees because it demonstrates a genuine concern for pay equality. 

2. Be aware of racism and Bias

Racism and bias are real threats to making progress in increasing diversity and inclusion in an organisation. If racism and bias haven’t been explored and identified in your company, diverse hiring practices will be more of a challenge. Ways to prevent racism and bias are to provide mandatory Anti Racism Training for everyone in the organisation. 

3. Acknowledge culture and differences of experience. 

Inclusion plays a huge role in ensuring employees feel supported, recognised and valued for their individuality. Feeling supported at work leads to higher performance, better engagement, and staff retention. A flexible approach to religious holidays and cultural events will demonstrate inclusion as a core value, and awareness of what is happening in the wider world and how it may affect a particular demographic in your organisation is vital. 

4. Create a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down one! 

Refrain from making assumptions, and understand how your employees really feel. One of the best ways to gauge how inclusive your organisation is perceived is by participating in regular staff surveys. This is an opportunity to nurture inclusion because employers can demonstrate that they value everyone’s voice equally. 

However, being mindful of how you gather this data is essential to protect your employees and get an honest picture. You may outsource a company to Audit your employees, so they feel comfortable expressing their feelings or create small focus groups with specific demographics within the organisation to gain more authentic insight. 

5. Be aware of ageism and strive for a multigenerational 

Building a multi-generational workforce is an integral part of achieving diversity and inclusion. People from different generations will have varying world views, ways of working, core values, and experience – all of which make for a more diverse workplace.

6. Celebrate the difference 

One of the most effective ways an organisation can nurture a commitment to inclusion is to celebrate differences and invite employees to participate. Here are some of the ways employers can celebrate differences in the workplace:

  • Black History Month
  • Pride month celebrations
  • International Women’s Day
  • Invest in prayer or meditation rooms or spaces. Religious beliefs are protected under the Equality Act 2010, so it’s in employers’ best interests to support religious employees and enable them to bring their full selves to work
  • Hold lunch events whereby employees are invited to showcase the foods of their culture

7. Hold each other accountable

Holding each other and leadership responsible for implementing, seeing through, and continuously striving to improve diversity and inclusion efforts is powerful because it prevents diversity and inclusion from being merely a checkbox exercise. Upholding inclusion as a core value breeds inclusivity because of collective responsibility. 

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion are fundamental for every company that aims to have an environment where equality means ensuring everyone can access the same opportunities. In contrast, diversity means valuing the differences between people, and inclusion is a measure of how safe and welcoming people feel in their workspace.

At WorksSpa, we offer a series of inclusive initiatives, from workshops, talks or tailored programs. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our holistic approach to wellbeing at work.