5 Tips for Managing Gender Transition in the Workplace

5 Tips for Managing Gender Transition in the Workplace

Gender transition, especially in the workplace, is never easy. Unless properly planned, it can be a complicated, nerve-wracking, and confusing process. However, transitioning is a liberating experience. For trans individuals, this is a chance to fully express their authentic selves and be accepted by peers for who they are.

Organizations should support employees who express the desire to transition. Making the workplace a safe place for them to come out communicates how valuable they are as a team member. It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Despite their best interests, we know that some organizations are at a loss to properly manage gender transitioning in the workplace. In this article, we provide practical tips that go beyond a simple diversity and inclusion statement. It’s not enough that we tell trans employees that they are accepted; our policies and actions should demonstrate acceptance as well.

Managing Gender Transition in the Workplace

  1. Develop a transition plan together with the transitioning employee.

Gender transitioning involves a lot of decisions and steps that will fundamentally change a person and how other people interact with them. When one decides to fully embrace the traits of the gender they identify with, it usually involves changing their names, pronouns, registered sex, dress styles, and other gender expression characteristics. These can seem like a lot of changes not just for the trans employee but also for the people who frequently interact with them.

Every transition is different, and a good transition plan involves consulting the trans employee. It is up to them to determine what information can be shared and with whom. A good practice, especially at the beginning of the transition, is to share information only on a “need-to-know” basis. This helps protect the employee’s privacy and prevent preempting their transition.

It is also important to establish a clear timeframe for the transition. Identify key moments such as when peers will be informed, name/pronoun changes, access to gender-appropriate facilities, and personal leave time. Employers should provide the employee time off from work, so they can attend medical and legal appointments and other requirements related to the transition process.

  1. Create a core team who will support the employee’s gender transition.

During the transition, a core team consisting of managers and peers must be formed to support the trans employee. Again, the employee must be consulted on who will be included in this group.

If the trans employee experiences discrimination at any point, they must know they have a safe space for discussing the issue. Having a trusted circle helps ease the strain and alleviate the stress that transitioning in the workplace creates. Someone from management must be part of this group because they reinforce the leadership’s support for gender transitions.

The group should also help answer questions about the employee’s transition. It’s normal for other staff members to start wondering why someone is suddenly wearing a different uniform or going to a different toilet. The support group can answer these questions with a reaffirmation of the employee’s valuable contributions and the company’s core principles.

Company leaders must stress policies on zero-tolerance for bullying and discrimination during this process. It must be clear that the workplace is an inclusive place that offers equal opportunities.

  1. Prepare the facilities and documentation the trans employee will need in advance.

The use of the toilet is one of the most pressing issues for transgenders. The 2015 US Transgender Survey revealed that 59% avoided public bathrooms for fear of confrontations and 31% avoided eating or drinking to reduce trips to the restroom. During transitioning, transgenders who decide to undergo medical treatments experience body changes similar to puberty. Depriving them of the right to an accessible bathroom is inhumane.

The ideal solution is to adopt a mix of gender-neutral, female, and male toilets and make them accessible to everyone. Let the employees choose the toilets they want. Don’t simply designate another bathroom, like the disabled toilets, as gender-neutral.

Also, don’t mandate trans employees to use a specific toilet, even if it’s a unisex one, because it can make matters worse. In everything, always consult transitioning employees about their preferences. This also goes towards the use of other gender-related facilities like locker rooms.

Gender transition requires the change of personal identification documents such as company ID, email signature, staff photo, employee badge, and others. It’s better if these changes are made before the employee’s official transition date to avoid confusion.

Hold a staff briefing to inform everyone about these changes. These can also be the venue for asking questions. The transitioning employee should have the freedom to attend or not and must be the one to decide if the briefing will be conducted by email, face-to-face meeting, or in small group settings.

  1. Conduct training to prepare colleagues and help them develop empathy.

Sometimes, well-meaning individuals want to ensure a smooth transition for their colleagues but are unaware of how to do so. Others may not understand what’s happening, and their ignorance may cause harm.

Workplace training aims to broaden perspectives and prepare colleagues for what will happen. It’s best to conduct these prior to the official transition to help the entire team build empathy for what their peer will go through. These sessions should also be safe places where they can ask questions.

Training shouldn’t be limited to only when a gender transition will happen. Continuing education on gender issues and inclusive practices must be a regular company practice. Make resources on diversity and inclusion readily available for anyone who wishes to learn more. Conduct refresher courses for new staff and those who wish to be updated with the latest trends.

Companies can always tap professionals trained in DEI practices to conduct this training for them. DEI professionals can also help organizations manage the daunting tasks involved in gender transition by providing consultations, resources, referrals, and other related services. When tapping external support, always make sure that the transitioning employee feels comfortable doing it.

  1. Offer continuing and regular support.

Gender transition is not a one-time event. It’s a process that doesn’t end with the employee changing names and uniforms. Medical treatments and surgeries take years to complete, and even without it, the adjustment phase alone takes time.

It’s important to make your employee feel safe and supported even after the official transition announcement is over. Provide regular check-ins to know how they’re doing and offer continued access to professional support that they can talk to any time. Reinforce your company’s zero-tolerance for discrimination and bullying and make sure any perpetrators are dealt with. Implement inclusive policies and programs such as LGBTQ ally networks, and inclusivity training.

Conclusion

Managing gender transition in the workplace is not an easy task. However, we shouldn’t leave a trans employees to manage transitioning on their own. It takes the entire workplace to create a smooth process that makes the individual feel safe, valued and loved.

We hope the tips above help you implement a successful transition. Always remember that transitions are unique and consultation with the trans employee is important. If you need help with inclusivity training, gender transition checklists, coaching, and DEI consultations, you can always reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.

How to Create Psychological Safety in the Workplace and Why It Matters

How to Create Psychological Safety in the Workplace and Why It Matters

Psychological safety in the workplace is the belief that you can share your ideas and opinions at work without fear of being ridiculed, reprimanded, or discriminated against. It includes the confidence to fail and make mistakes without suffering dire consequences.

Psychological safety fosters innovation, teamwork, and employee work satisfaction. It encourages authenticity in the work environment, which is the key to becoming a truly inclusive and diversified organization. A 2-year Google Study found that psychological safety was the number one component present in high-performing teams.

But if a psychologically safe workplace creates positive effects, why do most organizations struggle with it?

Minority groups like the LGBTQ community and people of color often report that they have to conceal their true selves or conform to the expectations of the workplace. In a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, 75% of LGBTQ employees experienced at least one negative interaction at work related to their LGBTQ identity. Meanwhile, research conducted by Headstart found that 66% of Black American job seekers are frequently discriminated against when seeking new roles.

Despite society’s call for increased inclusivity in the workplace, these figures indicate that psychological safety in the workplace is still a big concern, especially for minority groups.

9 Steps for Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Psychological safety is easy to create. You just need patience and conviction as you begin to roll out programs and policies geared towards it. Remember that it takes time for new habits and work cultures to form.

  1. Make psychological safety an explicit work priority

As a company leader, you need to start talking about psychological safety. It should be discussed in executive meetings and strategic planning sessions. Everyone in the company must understand its importance and implications. They must see how it connects to company goals, such as workplace innovation, higher revenues, and thriving company culture.

You must also model the behaviors you want to see. Psychological safety is all about showing your employees that you understand them and give their inputs importance. Make sure they know that the company is open to honest feedback.

  1. Increase self-awareness in the workplace

Everyone has their own biases. By admitting this and uncovering those biases, we increase our self-awareness, which leads to improved relationships with the people around us. Uncovering these biases is important for those in management, including those assigned to recruitment. When biases are addressed, a more inclusive workplace is created.

  1. Allow everyone to speak up

Show genuine interest in what others have to say. Honor candor and honesty. Be open-minded in accepting the opinions and ideas of others. Always be truly engaged and avoid faking enthusiasm.

Displaying these behaviors will create an atmosphere where employees can feel safe to voice out their thoughts. Leaders should set the example by always showing compassion and empathy. This will pave the way for other team members to follow suit.

  1. Be an ally and champion your team

There will always be discrimination—it may not be blatant, but it exists even in small forms. Members of the LGBTQ group experience discrimination more than others. It’s amplified for LGBTQ who are of color.

They may feel safe at work but experience discrimination from customers and clients. BCG found out that 54% of employees who are out at work choose to be closeted around clients. This indicates that inclusivity hasn’t spread outside the workplace.

As their team leader, you should be their champion. Business owners must decide if they’re willing to commit to a path of real inclusivity while risking losing some clients.

  1. Establish norms for failure

Employees must be given the freedom to take reasonable risks and make mistakes. Failure encourages learning which gives rise to innovation. When employees make mistakes, avoid playing the blame game. Instead, take time to talk to them and ensure they learn the right lessons.

Encourage sharing these lessons, not to blame the person, but to show others how failure can turn out for good. When employees know that it’s alright to fail, they will be willing to tackle challenges and seek creative means to surpass them.

Mistakes should not always spur dire consequences. There’s nothing that stifles innovation more than a culture where employees are afraid to take risks for fear of punishment.

  1. Accept new and wild ideas

Let employees know what kind of ideas are acceptable. Are you willing to accept out-of-the-box ideas that are highly creative but are not well-formulated? Or would you only welcome ideas that have been thoroughly researched? When employees know what kind of ideas are expected from them, they’d feel empowered to pitch in.

Include employees in the decision-making process and show them how important decisions are made. It may be scary to be vulnerable, but a psychologically safe workplace is built on mutual trust and vulnerability.

  1. Embrace productive conflict

Conflicts are normal. Opinions will always differ and people will rally strongly behind their beliefs. Resolve these conflicts peacefully and democratically. Involve employees in conflict resolution and establish expectations for how these conflicts are to be handled.

If there is any negativity, nip it in the bud. Don’t allow it to fester because it’ll create chaos later. A psychologically safe workplace is one where employees can be comfortable holding different opinions because they know their opinions are heard and valued despite being different.

  1. Check up on your team regularly

Show concern and interest for your team beyond the work they do. Make it a habit to frequently check on how they’re doing, not just with their projects, but also personally. Taking an interest in your employees’ overall well-being creates a sense of camaraderie that can help them become more authentic at work.

Every workplace involves some level of personal sharing. When checking up on employees, always allow the other person to share as much or as little detail as they are comfortable doing so. You can arrange regular one-on-one meetings to personally talk with your employees. They may be time-consuming but are proven to elicit authentic responses.

  1. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution

Different individuals have different needs. Some may be comfortable sharing in a group while others prefer the privacy of a closed office. Others may prefer emails over face-to-face meetings.

Allow employees to share opinions in whatever manner they are comfortable with. You can even set up anonymous feedback systems that encourage unrestricted suggestions.

Why Psychological Safety in the Workplace Matters

Every employee deserves to feel safe in their own skin while at work. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Employees who feel safe are more productive and innovative. This results in better work contributions that lead to improved company performance. As a company cares for its employees, the results are manifested in its bottom line.

Beyond company revenues and employee personal satisfaction, creating psychological safety in the workplace is a step toward permanently ending discrimination. It’s the true mark of an ally who goes beyond displaying rainbow colors for Pride Month. It’s the embodiment of what Juneteenth stands for. Psychological safety in the workplace is proof that we have achieved genuine workplace inclusivity.

Employee Training and Development – Why It Is Important For Your Organization

Employee Training and Development – Why It Is Important For Your Organization

Training and development are essential in a fast-paced and ever-changing corporate environment.  It could be argued that a company’s most valuable asset is its employees and that investing in their training and development is critical to maintaining long-term growth and profitability.

These programs not only allow employees to develop their abilities but also enable businesses to increase employee productivity and enhance organizational culture.

Training and development can also lower staff turnover — and according to a 2020 Work Institute research, these programs are essential for a company’s bottom line. The same report shows that voluntary staff turnover costs U.S. businesses over $630 billion per year.

Some organizations view employee training to be an absolute waste of money. However, if you overlook the necessity of effective employee training, it can result in underdevelopment, turnover, culture problem, and workload imbalances.  It can also harm business performance, team morale, and your capacity to attract and keep top talent.

 

Besides, employees will feel unappreciated, dissatisfied, and undervalued if not adequately trained. As a result, they will look for opportunities for advancement and development elsewhere.

Employees who are given regular chances to learn, grow, and progress are more likely to stay with an organization. According to Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways to Engage, training and development are among the principal elements in employee engagement.

This post discusses the importance of employee training and development in an organization.

What are Training and Development?

Training is a specific program that imparts new information or skills to new or recently promoted employees. Employee development refers to a continuous commitment to improving job performance through training sessions, coaching, leadership mentoring, etc.

According to studies conducted by Gallup, companies that invest in staff development see increased sales and doubled profits compared to companies that do not. Employee engagement is boosted through continuous training and development, and a more productive, competitive, and engaged staff is crucial to your organization’s financial success.

Furthermore, according to Forbes, 93 percent of employees will stay longer when an organization invests in career development. Training and development help organizations in attracting and retaining top talents, improving employee satisfaction and morale, and increasing productivity and profitability. Companies with actively engaged and committed staff see 17% higher productivity rates and 41% lower absenteeism rates.

What is the importance of employee training and development?

Regardless of the cost of employee training, the return on investment is enormous if it is done consistently.

There are various reasons why employers should start training and development programs for their employees, including:

  1. Training and Development Boost Employee Performance

Training and development programs for employees are essential for improving their workplace performance. According to a 2019 employee survey published in The International Journal of Business and Management Research, 90 percent of those who participated agreed or strongly agreed that training and development programs helped them perform better.

As an employer, you can offer a variety of online or in-person training and development for your employees. And you can either use third-party training, in-house training, or off-site activities to provide those opportunities.

  1. It enhances employees’ skills and knowledge.

Employee training and development programs help employees enhance their knowledge and abilities in order to keep up with industry changes. These enhancements will have a favorable impact on staff productivity, which will boost an organization’s revenues and efficiency.

  1. It develops future leaders

Training and developing employees with the skills for future leadership can be crucial in establishing an organization for growth and evolution. An organization can get leadership talent through new recruits, or Human Resource professionals can choose present employees as managerial candidates.

Reports from Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) showed that having professional training and development programs ensures that a company is focused on future business objectives by preparing promotable talents.

  1. It Reduces Employee Turnover

Given the high cost of employee turnover, most organizations are looking for ways to retain staff on board. The importance of training and development to avoid staff turnover cannot be overstated.

According to the Work Institute research, “Job Characteristics was the number one rising category of turnover, up 117% since 2013.” In addition, an educational technology company, Instructure, published the findings of a poll in 2019, revealing that 70% of U.S. employees report they are at least partly inclined to quit their present employer and seek a new job with an organization that invests in training and development.

  1. It Boosts Employee Engagement in the Workplace

Exploring measures to increase employee engagement can help to reduce workplace boredom, which can lead to sentiments of unhappiness and poor work behaviors if left unchecked. Offering regular training and development initiatives can help in preventing workplace idleness, which will, in turn, help organizations build consistent re-evaluation of their workforce, skills, and procedures.

Additionally,  it will impact organizational culture and prompt organization analysis and planning. It requires companies to analyze current talent and assess growth and development potential internally instead of through hiring.

Furthermore, Forbes analyzed data from over 7,000 employees to validate the impact of empowerment and employee engagement. They discovered that staff who felt a low percentage of empowerment had engagement ratings in the 24th percentile. In contrast, those who felt a high level of empowerment had engagement ratings in the 79th percentile.

How to Create Effective Employee Training and Development

Employers should start by establishing what skills and knowledge employees require to help the organization achieve its goals. This is to help develop effective training and development initiatives or programs. Then, depending on employee preferences and learning styles, companies should personalize their training and development strategies.

 Below are ways to build training and development programs that will benefit your company and your employees.

  1. Assess the Business Impact

As an employer, think about what kind of impact you want your employee training and development programs to have on the company. Then you should figure out what the company’s goals are for such programs and devise a strategy to help them succeed.

  1. Discover Skills Gaps

Organization management should assess how employee performance affects the organization’s progress toward its objectives. Any skill deficiencies that delay the company’s success should be addressed during their training.

  1. Choose Suitable Learning Methods

When building training and development programs, organizations should consider factors such as staff background, preferences, and experience.

  1. Evaluate the Training Outcomes

Companies should review their training and development initiatives or programs after each activity. The experiences of your employees with the training and development programs — as well as their subsequent performance — can help guide future efforts to promote learning.

Allow professional hands to handle your employee’s training and development initiatives

Are you looking to build competency among your employees? Do you want to establish foundational inclusion knowledge in your organization? Do you require something more comprehensive?

At Partner For Impact, we offer training tailored for various audiences and designed to assist businesses like yours in proactively developing talents and fostering inclusion at all levels. We’ll collaborate with you to define your targeted staff performance and help you match it with the optimal delivery mechanism.

When it comes to carrying out company-wide training, we relieve you of the load. We can handle everything from registration to coordinating day-of activities to collecting feedback and reporting to leadership/management, allowing you to focus on other critical aspects of your business. We can also work with you as thought partners to develop your specific programs.

Partner For Impact always utilize the most efficient training strategy for every situation to excite, engage, and educate your employees. Please get in touch with us to see how we can assist you.

Top Reasons Why You Should Access Your Organization’s DEI Now

Top Reasons Why You Should Access Your Organization’s DEI Now

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace have been a topic of interest in organizations for a long time. The past few years’ events, like the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the ensuing wave of protests have emphasized how critical diversity and inclusion are in the workplace, although this isn’t new information.

The first step towards making your company a more equitable place to work is to evaluate how diverse and inclusive it is currently– and how far you still have to go.

Irrespective of the existing policies and programs at your company, it’s critical to do routine DEI assessments to keep track of how you’re performing. An effective DEI assessment can help you identify where you should target your efforts, offer benchmarking before establishing new programs, and provide helpful feedback on the health of your programs with time.

What is a DEI Assessment?

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) assessment is a method of gathering accurate data and information about an organization’s performance on critical DEI aspects. Assessment is a crucial step toward long-term success since it offers a data-driven insight into the current state of the organization’s DEI efforts.

A practical DEI assessment ought to include a thorough evaluation of the company’s commitment to a respectful workplace, workplace policies, and training programs. It should also include a review of recruiting practices, employee interviews or surveys (offering actionable feedback), reporting pathways, etc.

Any holes discovered during the assessment of diversity, equity, and inclusion ought to be prioritized and resolved as soon as possible. Remember that DEI evaluations are not a one-shot deal. Regular DEI assessments maintain the long-term viability of your initiatives and programs while also allowing your organization to address potential risks before they become an issue.

The benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI) in the workplace

Businesses that fail to implement DEI practices miss out on opportunities to maximize the potential of their employees. As per this Unrealized Impact study, “diverse teams are more innovative and make better decisions, and diverse companies have better shareholder returns.”

Another study, carried out by McKinsey & Company in collaboration with The Society for Human Research Management (SHRM), looked at the performance of businesses with various levels of workplace diversity. They discovered that organizations with higher gender and ethnic diversity outperform their less diverse counterparts by 15% and 35%, respectively. According to the same reports, “organizations with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, customers, and profits.”

Organizations that value diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI) in the workplace benefit in the following way:

Innovation
Teams that make inclusive decisions are more likely to make better decisions. According to Forbes, organizations with above-average diversity generated 19 percent more revenue from innovation than organizations with below-average diversity.

Recruiting and retaining talent
According to a Glassdoor survey, diversity is a crucial factor for 76 percent of job seekers and employees when it comes to analyzing organizations and job offers. Besides, when it comes to choosing a place to work, most Gen Z candidates (83 percent) feel a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical. At the same time, a recent Monster survey showed that nearly half of Hispanic (49%) and Black (47%) applicants and employees left after witnessing or experiencing workplace discrimination.

Customer Trust
An Edelman Trust Barometer survey reported that brands that are thought to be good at dealing with racial issues are three times more trustworthy than those that are not. Over half of customers feel companies should speak out against racial injustice and institutional racism in public.

Employee engagement
Employee engagement is directly linked to inclusiveness, which is described as a work environment characterized by trust and involvement. Employees who are engaged are more likely to say that their organization values diversities of thought and cares about them as individuals.

They are more successful than those that do not.
Companies with a solid diversity and inclusive atmosphere are more likely to have a workforce with higher trust and job satisfaction levels and will be more engaged. But it’s not only morale that improves when DEI initiatives are prioritized; there are significant benefits at every level of the organization, including:

Workforce
According to a study conducted by Coqual (formerly Center For Talent Innovation), when a team has at least one member representing their target customer’s gender, culture, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, they are 158 percent more likely to understand them.

Managers
According to a BCG study, organizations with more diversity in management generated 38 percent more income on average than organizations with less diversity. This could be due to the fact that gender diversity, nationality, career route, and industry background are all strongly linked to innovation.

Leaders
According to another study by McKinsey, companies with the highest gender diversity on executive leadership teams are 21 percent more likely to be profitable and 27 percent better at developing superior value than those in the bottom quarter. Top quarter organizations that excelled in cultural and ethnic diversity beat those in the fourth quarter by 36%.

How to start and implement a DEI plan from the top down in your organization

1. Listen Carefully and Take Notes.
Set up a systematic process for measuring the organizational pulse, whether through town hall meetings with a good number of employees, roundtable talks with ten or fifteen individuals at a time (make sure to include individuals from all levels), or both. Consider this as a listening tour.

2. Senior Leaders Should Be Enlisted and Aligned
Your DEI initiatives should reach individuals at all levels; success will necessitate everyone’s commitment. So, ensure you discuss the findings of your listening tour with the board of directors and senior management.
Several studies have found a strong link between diversity and performance. As a result, let managers know that diversity aids in problem-solving and promotes innovation.

3. Audit the Culture
After that, you’ll need a formal procedure to determine how your culture is viewed by its stakeholders. Consider an audit to be similar to an archaeological dig.
Your audit will provide facts to back up your initiative: people, promotions, policies, the pipeline, and how far up the corporate ladder your efforts have progressed.

4. Keep a record of what you’re doing right now.
After you learn how your stakeholders perceive your culture, you can assess how their views match reality. This entails assessing your current DEI initiatives or programs to determine what works and what can be improved.

5. Establish Benchmarks
Now is the time to compare your progress with internal benchmarks, as well as those that illustrate how you compare to competitors, other businesses in your area, and society as a whole. The goal is to track your progress quarterly, then annually, to see how well you’re doing in terms of hiring, developing, and keeping a diverse staff.

6. Form Action Learning Teams
Form action learning teams that will collaborate closely with the CEO, CHRO, and other senior executives. These teams should meet once a week to analyze the issues they’ve been given, identify goals and priorities for dealing with them, and provide recommendations on how to proceed.

7. Make an Action Plan
It’s now time to put what you’ve learned together. This necessitates the creation of a change blueprint.

Your action plan ought to include commitments for the next few years. Distribute your action plan all through the organization, so everyone is aware that you are gradually establishing an intentional culture. It is recommended you continue to organize town halls and smaller meetings and keep staff informed about your accomplishments through newsletters and other internal channels.

Get Expert’s Help For Your Organization’s DEI Initiatives

At Partner For Impact, we specialize in providing evidence-based DEIB solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Each organization has its own culture, mission, and objectives. As a result, we collaborate closely with you to pinpoint immediate improvement as well as crucial areas that need development for long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion sustainability in your organization. Please get in touch with us to see how we can support you.

5 Equity in the Workplace Examples to Guide Your DEI Strategy

5 Equity in the Workplace Examples to Guide Your DEI Strategy

Equity and equality are often thought of as the same, but they are two different concepts. Equality is the state of being equal, while equity is the state of being fair. Equity means fairness and justice, while equality means sameness. For example, equality would mean everyone receiving the same salary for the same job. Equity would mean that everyone gets a salary based on their experience, skillset, and qualifications.

Equity is significant because it ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. It levels the playing field so that everyone has a fair chance at achieving their goals. Equity is also vital in diversity and inclusion because it allows everyone to feel welcomed, valued, and respected. Equity is about creating an environment where each person can thrive and be their best selves.

5 Ways to Practice Equity in the Workplace

  1. Hire based on skills instead of credentials.

Equity in the workplace starts with the hiring process. Job descriptions should be accessible to all, highly relevant, and transparent to draw in a diverse pool of applicants. Everyone must be able to be aware of job openings. Posting them on the company website is not enough, as candidates may not have the correct vocabulary to discover these jobs. Instead, actively recruit diverse individuals by reaching out and connecting with diversity-focused groups.

Switch from credentials-based to skills-based job descriptions to help open up opportunities for those who may not have access to higher education. Hiring should be based on skills and not pedigree to create an even playing field for all applicants.

Be aware of personal biases when recruiting, such as going for whitewashed names and those whose backgrounds are similar to ours. Equity can only be achieved if there is diversity in the recruitment team or if recruiters are trained to fight discrimination. We can create a more equitable workplace by changing our hiring process.

  1. Give inclusive benefits and prioritize wage equity.

Offering transparent salaries and personalized benefits is another  way to create equity in the workplace. Employees should be able to access information about how different positions are compensated. Equal wages mean everyone in the same role is paid equally, regardless of gender, race, or other factors.

However, equity goes beyond just equal pay. It also means that a diverse group of people, including minorities, can be offered high-paying salaries. Be careful of having a diverse company where only certain groups of people are afforded high-paying roles while others are relegated to lower-paying jobs.

Offering the same benefits, like spousal insurance and parental leaves to same-sex unions and traditional families, is another way to create equity in the workplace. Finally, consult with each employee about what benefits they need. Some individuals may require special access to certain facilities or be accommodated for more flexible work schedules to cope with specific disabilities. Through consultation, you can tailor your benefit packages to meet the needs of your diverse workforce.

Equality is about making benefits available for everyone. Equity is about giving specific things to individuals who need them. Providing equitable benefits ensures that all employees feel supported, regardless of their situation.

  1. Create equitable incentive programs.

Rewards and incentives help create a happy and motivated workforce. This communicates that the company values the employees’ hard work and dedication. However, cultivating diversity in the workplace involves understanding that not all employees are motivated by the same incentives. How can you create an equitable incentive program?

One way to start is by asking employees what motivates them and what kind of incentives they prefer. This will help you ensure that everyone feels their voices are heard and that the incentive program considers their individual needs. Sometimes, it may seem like additional work to craft equitable incentive programs, but in the long run, this will be seen as a better reward vs. enforcing generic or common-for-all incentives.

Additionally, be mindful that the usual incentives (such as drinking or formal dinners) may alienate some employees who don’t drink or prefer not to participate in activities that require a dress code. The organization must learn to respect that everyone has different personal preferences and can’t participate in certain activities. Cash bonuses are often preferred, as they are more flexible and can be used by everyone.

By considering these factors, you can create a genuinely equitable incentive program that will motivate all your employees to do their best work.

  1. Observe equitable holidays and be respectful of everyone’s different beliefs.

In today’s workplace, it’s essential to consider the many different holidays people celebrate. While Christmas is a typical holiday for many people worldwide, others may not celebrate it for religious or cultural reasons. When planning company events or celebrations, be sure to take into account the diverse range of holidays that employees may celebrate.

Allow employees to take personal time off for their own religious or cultural holidays. Provide alternative holiday celebrations that will be inclusive for all employees. Avoid forcing Christmas plans or creating very Christmas-centric celebrations, especially if you know that there are employees who don’t celebrate Christmas. Respect any employee’s decision not to participate in certain events such as a Pride March by not belittling or badgering them about why they chose to opt out.

Equity means respecting everyone’s beliefs despite how different they may be. Being equity-minded regarding holidays and celebrations can create a more respectful and enjoyable workplace for all.

  1. Prioritize having equitable representation in the leadership team.

Creating diversity in management should be every company’s priority if leaders want to achieve a truly inclusive workplace. This implies creating equitable opportunities for everyone to succeed and get promoted. Provide accessible and adequate training and continuing education programs to help those lacking the skills and knowledge to compete. Make sure to promote based on experience and abilities regardless of gender, race, or cultural background.

This also includes equitable access for all employees, such as wheel-chair accessible areas, closed-caption videos, and accommodations for employees with sensory sensitivities. Creating equitable access to resources, physical or educational, levels the playing field for all employees to grab opportunities. Remember that equity means creating a fair playing field for all, including giving special accommodations to those who’ve been provided less.

Once an organization has a diverse management team, you can genuinely tell there would be workplace equity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace will not just be aspirational goals. They will become a reality.

Achieve equity in the workplace today

Achieving equity in the workplace is a complex and multi-layered process, but creating an equitable work environment should be on every business owner’s mind. It’s not always easy to achieve, but it is worth the effort. By implementing these examples of equity in the workplace, we can make strides in creating a more inclusive and equitable work life for each person.

If you want to create a more equitable workplace but don’t know where to start, consult with us today. Let us help you get started on the right path so your employees can feel valued and appreciated.

Employee Psychological Safety: Why It Should Be Your Company’s Priority

Employee Psychological Safety: Why It Should Be Your Company’s Priority

Many studies have often discovered that companies benefit from a diversity of thought. Similarly, groups of individuals with various life experiences are better equipped to spot issues and propose innovative solutions than groups of individuals who have similar life experiences.

But what if some members of the team avoid suggesting creative ideas for fear of being rejected? What if they feel uncomfortable speaking up? What if they’re hesitant to express their concerns or resist asking challenging questions?

Sadly, this is how many individuals feel regarding their workplace. As per a Gallup poll conducted in 2017, three out of ten employees strongly agreed that their opinions are ignored at their work. This is a concerning statistic as it is obvious that employees who feel free to express themselves are more engaged.

Remote work environments, which are becoming more prevalent due to the global COVID pandemic, have exacerbated the problem, especially for women.

For organizations, offering emotional support to employees is no longer a hallmark of a good employer; it has become an absolute necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have wreaked havoc on people’s mental health, with devastating impacts for companies.

Unhappy employees result in low productivity and high attrition, which can be difficult for organizations to surmount when coupled with macroeconomic challenges.

Psychological safety is essential for your workforce to be happy, engaged, and perform at their best. And if long-term remote work becomes more common, this will only become more true.

What Is Psychological Safety

A Harvard Business School professor, Amy Edmondson, coined the word psychological safety. According to her, psychological safety is “a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.” Creating a psychologically comfortable environment helps people speak up and express their opinions.

According to Jeff Polzer, an Edmondson and Harvard Business School professor, creating norms is crucial to success and engagement when it comes to establishing psychologically safe settings.

What Are The Four Stages Of Psychological Safety?

When there is interpersonal trust and a climate of respect in an organizational setting or team, members feel comfortable engaging and taking risks, enabling them to implement rapid innovation.

A sense of belonging is the foundation of a psychologically safe workplace. Employees ought to feel accepted and valued before they can improve their companies —  similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which argues that all humans want their basic needs to be addressed before they can reach their maximum potential.

The author of The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation, Dr Timothy Clark, states that employees must go through the following four stages before they feel comfortable contributing and pushing for change.

  • Stage 1: Inclusion Safety

Inclusion safety fulfills the fundamental human desire to connect and belong. In this stage, employees feel safe to be themselves, and they’re welcomed for who they are, including their distinct features and distinguishing characteristics.

  • Stage 2: Learner Safety

The need to learn and develop is satisfied by learner safety. In this stage, employees feel comfortable asking questions, exchanging in the learning process, experimenting, offering and receiving feedback, and making mistakes.

  • Stage 3 – Contributor Safety

Contributor safety addresses the desire to make a difference. In this stage, employees feel safe and free to utilize their skills and ability to contribute meaningfully.

  • Stage 4 – Challenger Safety

Challenger safety serves the need to improve things. When employees believe there is a chance to change or better anything, they feel safe and comfortable speaking up and challenging the status quo.

How To Create And Foster Psychological Safety in Your Organization

To build a high-performing team, it’s critical to prioritize excellent psychological safety.

Team cultures are a reflection of their leaders’ actions and emotions. As a leader, if you fail to create and promote psychologically safe team cultures, you risk causing irreversible adverse effects and damage to your organization.

Coaching centered on behavior change is the first step in creating a psychologically safe workplace. This begins with each team member and extends throughout the company.

Changing cultural norms necessitates continuous learning by all employees. A coach to facilitate these procedures on an individual level ensures that they correctly teach behavior changes.

To foster a psychologically safe workplace, leaders must constantly practice inclusive behaviors in order to create new team norms with time.

Here are methods to make your workplace more psychologically safe.

  • Be open with your employees

Transparency is the first step toward establishing a psychologically safe work environment. This entails communicating frequently and consistently, explaining the “why” behind actions or decisions and honestly seeking feedback from your employees.

  • Be Curious and Listen Actively

The importance of active listening is equal to that of curiosity. People who are actively listening are more likely to feel valued and capable of contributing to the team. And this is particularly necessary to practice when their opinions may challenge your thinking.

If you disagree with someone on your team, don’t assume they’re wrong. You can also learn from your team even as they learn from you.

  • Set a good example.

Anyone in a leadership position should set a good example for the rest of the organization. This applies to all levels of management, including team leads, managers and even senior management.

  • Encourage and reward diligent dissent

Create a climate where all employees can speak up and speak out about difficulties or concerns without fear of consequences. Understand that it is difficult for your employees to share their ideas — particularly if they have previously had their input rejected or undervalued. Recognize and reward valuable contributions, and express gratitude to your employees!

If you fail to lead by example, you can’t expect your team to perform well or feel comfortable and safe. This entails admitting and apologizing when you make a mistake, communicating considerately, displaying empathy, and seeking assistance when necessary.

  • Encourage respect

Do not tolerate a team member who practices shaming, undermining, or any other behavior that inhibits others from speaking up. However, don’t dismiss this conduct.

Act swiftly and highlight how statements like these can prevent others from sharing their concerns, opinions, and questions, stifling creativity and innovation.

  • Encourage an open dialogue (with growth in view)

Keep an eye on how teams operate. Doing that will help you know if everyone is given an opportunity to speak up or if there are some who are more than others. Then work to ensure that everyone has an equal amount of time to talk.

Consider organizing company excursions or virtual hangouts so that employees can be themselves and let their guard down. This is also an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better.

  • Learn to embrace vulnerability.

Leaders who own their fallibility and vulnerability, according to Edmondson, demonstrate true strength. It indicates a desire to improve as well as a strategy for fostering open and honest feedback. When leaders admit their own shortcomings, it helps the team and the company learn and improve.

It also creates a safe platform for others to acknowledge their own mistakes, demonstrating that the organization values ownership of mistakes

  • Make yourself available at all times

Ensure that every employee knows you’re available when they need you. Make it clear that you have an open-door policy and that they are welcome to come to you with any issues, whether or not they are work-related.

  • Offer employees different platforms to share their thoughts.

Ensure that employees can interact and share using the channels with which they are most familiar. This could imply having multiple modes of communication in place, such as email, chats, video conferencing, etc.

  • Target diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs or initiatives

A psychologically safe work environment is one that is inclusive, with a sense of belonging, and where every employee feels truly needed, valued, and wanted for who they are and what they bring to the table.

As a leader, it is best to prioritize the emotional well-being of your employees and establish a psychologically safe climate. This helps drive innovation, creativity, productivity, employee engagement, organizational efficiency, etc.

Importance Of Psychological Safety

As you may expect, ensuring psychological safety for your employees has several advantages for supervisors, direct reports, departments, and businesses. Employee psychological safety at work has been proven to:

  • Boost the ability to think creatively and innovatively.

People are much more inclined to share creative ideas, try new things, and test new theories without fear of consequences or criticism when they feel safe at work. This fosters a culture that emphasizes creativity and innovation over conformity. And it’s when teams feel free and comfortable to innovate that huge breakthroughs occur, which can positively affect market positions and profits.

  • It leads to increased employee retention

Organizations with a high level of psychological safety settings have fewer turnover problems and retain top performers for a longer time. This is because employees feel free to bring their complete selves to work and are empowered to make a difference in their jobs. If staff don’t feel that, they will most likely look for work somewhere else if given a chance.

  • Drive Better Performance

Organizations that intentionally strive to promote psychological safety benefit from a more engaged staff, which has been found to boost productivity by up to 12%. It is owing to the fact that a psychologically safe workforce actively learns from their mistakes, is more agile, and accepts responsibility for their outcomes.

  • Promote empathy and inclusivity.

Psychological safety, as the third element of diversity and inclusion, is another step toward enabling everyone at your company to thrive and innovate equitably. If your organization values diversity, equity, and inclusion, psychological safety is a must-have.

  • Create happier employees

Finally, promoting psychological safety in the workplace is one of the most important things you can do for employees. Teams that feel safe are happy and productive. And when your staff are productive, they will go above and beyond for your customers and, as a result, for your organization. That begins with allowing them to be themselves while also being innovative and driving change.

Final Thoughts

Psychological safety in the workplace is a continuous consideration. It can take a long time to create, and it can be readily destroyed in a bad situation. As a result, it’s vital that your organization’s leadership takes a proactive role in establishing and maintaining a psychologically safe culture.

If you are looking to create psychological safety in your organization to improve work experience and performance, Partner For Impact can help!

Our training is customized to meet the needs of each organization. It is designed to provide your employees with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to promote psychological safety both individually and collectively.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your development efforts.

Sign up to get Latest Updates