Employers need to foster an inclusive environment for employees to feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. This includes cultivating a culture where everyone feels respected and valued, regardless of their background or differences. There are many things employers can do to create an inclusive workplace, such as promoting diversity and inclusion awareness, establishing clear anti-harassment policies, and encouraging open communication.
Apart from these strategies, promoting certain behaviors can help create a more inclusive environment and foster a sense of belonging among coworkers. Here are ten inclusive behaviors in the workplace.
1 – Practice active listening
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to half-listen to others and still get by. However, this isn’t always the case when it comes to inclusion. To truly understand and empathize with others, it’s important to practice active listening.
Give your full attention to the speaker, make eye contact, and be aware of verbal and nonverbal cues. It also means resisting the urge to interrupt or jump to conclusions. You create a sense of trust and mutual respect by taking the time to really listen to what others are saying. This, in turn, makes it more likely that people will feel comfortable approaching you with their ideas and concerns.
2 – Make a conscious effort to connect with people of different backgrounds
To build empathy, we need to consciously reach out and get to know people who are different from us. Empathy is vital in creating inclusivity in the workplace because it allows us to understand the other person more deeply. This breaks down our biases and helps eradicate deeply ingrained stereotypes.
Connect employees with different backgrounds and encourage peer mentorship programs. Create an inclusive community by taking the time to know each other honestly.
3 – Be flexible with management and communication styles
With a diverse group of employees, there will likely be different preferences regarding how information is conveyed and how tasks are completed. By being flexible, managers can ensure that everyone is on the same page and completes tasks effectively.
Depending on the situation, some methods may be more effective than others. For example, it may be necessary to use a more direct communication style in a fast-paced environment. However, in a more relaxed setting, a more collaborative approach may be more successful.
Remember that every team is different and what works for one might not work for another. By being flexible, you can adapt to your team’s needs and get the best out of them.
4 – Be honest when evaluating inclusivity efforts
Any organization that claims to value inclusivity must be honest in its self-evaluations. Are we living up to our ideals, or are we paying lip service to a concept we don’t fully understand? How can we create a more inclusive environment if we’re not even sure what that looks like?
These are tough questions, but they’re questions that we need to ask ourselves regularly. Honesty is the only way to create meaningful change; without it, our efforts will always fall short. Let’s have the courage to confront our shortcomings and the humility to learn from our mistakes. Only then can we hope to create a truly inclusive environment for everyone.
5 – Address cross-cultural issues when it happens
As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it is more important to be aware of cross-cultural issues. When working with people from other cultures, it is essential to respect differences. When faced with a cross-cultural issue, it is best to address it head-on rather than ignore it. Ask questions and try to understand the other person’s perspective. Empathize with their needs by regularly checking how they are handling things. Showing that you care is a great way to build an inclusive environment.
6 – Greet people authentically
Sometimes, a simple “Hello” done with a smile can work wonders. By genuinely greeting people around the office, regardless of who they are, you are building connections and showing everyone that you value their presence. This fosters a positive working environment that encourages others to be aware of the people around them.
7 – Speak up when others are being excluded
Exclusionary behavior is never acceptable, but it can be incredibly hurtful when it occurs in the workplace. Whether intentional or not, being excluded from workplace activities can make you feel isolated and overlooked. If you witness someone being excluded, speak up. Let the person know you’re including them and invite them to join the activity.
You can also talk to the person doing the excluding and let them know that their behavior is unacceptable. Taking a stand against exclusion can create a more inclusive workplace for everyone.
8 – Practice a 360-degree perspective
When communicating with others, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own frame of reference. The best way to ensure that you understand someone else correctly is to practice a 360-degree perspective. Consider all sides of an issue and be open to the possibility that other people may see things differently than you do. It can be challenging to do this, especially if you feel strongly about an issue, but it’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
9 – Constantly create psychologically safe spaces
When working on a team, it’s essential to create a sense of safety for everyone involved. Create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution. It also includes being clear about expectations and roles so everyone knows what they should do and can work together effectively. Finally, it means being responsive to concerns and feedback, so that team members feel they are being heard and their input is valued.
10 – Be considerate when planning activities
As our world becomes more connected, it’s important to be considerate when planning activities. With people from all cultures and backgrounds living in close proximity, it’s a must to be aware of holidays and celebrations that might not be part of your own traditions.
For example, Muslim employees may not be able to participate in activities during Ramadan, and Jewish employees may need to leave early for Shabbat. Some Asian cultures celebrate Lunar New Year, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. By being aware of the different holidays and customs your employees observe, you can ensure that everyone feels included and respected.
Inclusivity is Achievable When Everyone Observes Inclusive Behaviors
Inclusive behaviors are vital in creating a workplace where people feel like they belong. The examples above are just some of the many inclusive behaviors in the workplace. Remember that achieving inclusivity is an ongoing process. It’s not a one-time event or a written policy communicated during diversity training. Don’t be discouraged when setbacks happen. Instead, keep pushing forward.
By making a conscious effort to be more inclusive in our interactions with others, we can help create a more welcoming environment for all. What are some of the ways that you try to be more inclusive in your workplace?