How to Champion Inclusivity in the Workplace
Hey, lovely bosses!
Here at Love Squad, we champion diversity and inclusivity. No matter your background, race, sexuality, gender identity, you are welcome in our community.
Unfortunately, this inclusive spirit is not found in all professional spaces. Even in diverse settings, there can be a sense of discrimination and exclusion; though it may be unintentional, this can cause problems for your colleagues and your business.
No matter what position you hold, below are a six ways to promote and practice inclusivity at work.
1. Take an implicit bias test.
Implicit Association Tests are available to help you get a little insight into any subconscious biases you might have. Many people have taken these tests on an individual basis, while some have taken them because they were asked to by their employer. These tests are quick and can help you recognize how you implicitly see the world and those around you. You can then unpack your results and adjust accordingly.
2. Change your routine.
Maybe you sit with the same few people every day for lunch. Maybe you sit in the same seat during your meetings. Maybe you see the same coworker in line for coffee and just offer a smile. Sure, humans are creatures of habit, but what if you asked someone new to join you for lunch or asked that coworker at the coffee shop how their weekend was?
3. Ask for opinions.
Inclusivity is all about making everyone know they’re on the same playing field, making everyone know they're valued. By asking coworkers, "What do you think of...?" you bring them into the conversation, and isn't that what we're all about? Making sure everyone's voice is heard?
4. Don’t make assumptions.
We've all been guilty of jumping to conclusions or making assumptions about someone before actually getting to know that person. Stop yourself. It's tough, but everyone’s story is different, so try to approach every new person with no preconceived notions.
5. A genuine greeting/smile goes a long way.
When you walk into work, you may be in a rush, you may be tired, you may just want to go back to bed. No matter what, taking a moment to greet your colleagues with a smile and a "hello" can tell them know you care and tell them they're welcomed.
6. Speak Up!
Sometimes we can overhear or witness something that is just unacceptable. Maybe a coworker uttered an offensive comment or your boss keeps cutting a certain individual off at staff meetings. You have a responsibility to say something. Of course, you want to address the situation as appropriately and respectfully as you can. Bottom line is it needs to be addressed, so pull that person aside and tell them what you observed instead of being another bystander.
Many of us spend a whole lot of time at work, and while some of us feel comfortable and accepted in our workplace, others may not. Take a few minutes to do what you can to make everyone around you feel they are appreciated and included.