Diversity and inclusion are just as important in a remote work environment as they are in the office. No matter what your work setup is, every workplace can benefit from implementing some diversity and inclusion ideas. Find out some of the best initiatives that you could consider for promoting diversity in your company.
Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
We all hear this term ‘diversity and inclusion’ and know that it’s important in the workplace. But what are the benefits your company will see from becoming an inclusive workplace?
Increasing the range of perspectives boosts the number of new ideas flooding into the company. When a team member is from a different background, they may see things a little differently. These diverse opinions are critical for innovation. In fact, companies who are more diverse are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in innovation.
Did you know that companies who are more diverse make more money? Companies who have diversity in their management teams make around 19% more in revenue than other companies. If you’re concerned about the cost of new initiatives, don’t worry, it will be well worth it.
Hire Great People
If you’re struggling to get great talent into your company, it could be due to your lack of diverse employees. 67% of job candidates say that they take the diversity of the workforce into account when accepting a role.
Top 10 Diversity and Inclusion Ideas to Implement in Your Remote Workplace
It’s time to implement some diversity initiatives to ensure that you begin building a more diverse workforce at your online company. There are many diversity and inclusion activities that you can begin right now to start getting your organization where it needs to be. It is just as simple to implement these diversity and inclusion ideas in a remote workplace as it would be in any other.
Hire Multilingual Employees
If you have a remote workplace, you could consider hiring people who live in different countries to you. For most online businesses, there is no reason why you couldn’t hire someone who lives somewhere else.
This way, you may be able to hire more people who speak a variety of languages and increase diversity in the working environment this way.
Use Gender-Neutral Terms
One of the biggest issues is when companies hire a diverse workforce, but then don’t treat them as such. This results in a high turnover of the more diverse employees who don’t feel included in the workplace. For example, online meetings where the chair addresses everyone in the video conference as ‘ladies and gentlemen’. By using more gender-neutral terms, you can help those who don’t identify as a binary gender to feel comfortable at work. Do this in all of your internal communication as well, such as mass emails or memos.
Update Job Descriptions
Unconscious biases often come through when you’re writing a job description for a new position. You may not realize this, but the type of language you use has a huge impact on who will apply for the job.
For example, men are more likely to apply for roles that use words such as ‘go-getter’, ‘confident’, and ‘aggressive’. Women might be more likely to convey interest in roles that use terms like ‘personable’, ‘organized’, and similar terms. Having this in mind when writing new job descriptions is an easy tactic for increasing diversity in the workplace that you can implement right now.
Think about your top team of executives. How diverse is this group? If you don’t have a lot of diversity at the top level, then you don’t have true inclusion at your company. But this can be fixed over time.
Of course, you can’t just fire your top team. Instead, when you do your succession planning, you can do this more strategically to include those of diverse backgrounds. Consider who you want to take over from your executives when they leave or retire. Train up a diverse range of people to take over these roles when the time comes.
Improve Policies Against Discrimination
If you don’t have anti-discriminatory policies, it’s about time you created some. If you already have some but find that your workplace is not particularly inclusive, then you need to review these.
By updating anti-discriminatory policies and getting staff to read the new version, you are communicating that inclusion is something you care about. Plus, this should decrease discrimination in the workplace.
Hire People of All Ages
Many older people struggle to find work. This is an unfortunate outcome of our society which often values youth over experience. Having a diverse array of ages in your workforce brings together a variety of perspectives. Often, it is the combination of these that can bring about the best ideas. So, when you’re hiring, think about having a range of age groups in your business.
Celebrate All Holidays
If you have a video conference party to celebrate Christmas or Easter, have you considered adding other holidays into the mix? By celebrating the holidays of all of your employees, you are creating a truly inclusive workplace. Employees who celebrate Hannukah, Chinese New Year, and other holidays shouldn’t have to miss out on celebrating with their colleagues on these days.
If you have some form of digital newsletter that you send around to engage your employees, consider whose stories you include in this. Before you send it out, check that it contains a range of stories from a range of different kinds of people. Your employees will appreciate seeing people they can relate to in there.
Next on our list of diversity and inclusion ideas is online training. Hire a professional to conduct online training sessions with your employees on diversity and unconscious bias. Unfortunately, people are unaware of their unconscious bias, which is why it is such a huge issue. By providing training, this can increase people’s awareness and facilitate behavior change.
Some cultures are more softly spoken than others – and how likely someone is to contribute will depend on the individual’s personality as well. When asking for feedback or opinions on an idea, make sure that you specifically ask each person’s thoughts. This encourages those who would otherwise not speak up to share their ideas and opinions.
You could even use a tool such as an anonymous suggestion box to let people offer ideas without needing to speak up in front of others.
By starting to use these 10 diversity and inclusion ideas in your business, you can help your diverse employees feel included. You will also be able to increase diversity and improve the employee experience. Don’t forget that there are benefits not only for your company but for the productivity and happiness of your staff as well.