HR Strategies for Cultivating an Inclusive Workplace

The human resources (HR) function of organizations has undergone considerable change over the last few decades. Previously seen as an administrative role that took care of matters such as payroll and the hiring and firing of personnel has evolved to encompass strategic decision-making and the shaping of an organization’s values, mission and culture.

One of the most recent initiatives HR teams have been tasked with is developing a workplace that values and respects all staff members irrespective of their cultural background, physical abilities or identity or gender. 

In this article, we will take a deeper dive into some of the strategies HR departments can implement to create a more inclusive workplace environment that enables all employees to feel welcome and to flourish.

The Importance of Inclusivity in the Workplace

Creating a workplace where employees feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to express their thoughts, ideas, and unique perspectives can help fuel productivity, creativity, and innovation. Research has found that employees who feel valued are more likely to be assertive, innovative, productive, and motivated to take more risks. Additionally, inclusivity within the workplace can foster greater loyalty and pride in employees for the organizations for which they work.

As millennials and Gen Z increasingly prioritize factors such as inclusion in the workplace when assessing potential employers, HR departments must sit up and take note of this requirement if they are to succeed in attracting and retaining the best talent. 

Strategies to Promote Inclusivity

In our current age, safety in the workplace must extend beyond mitigating the risks of a workplace fire or other type of accident and address issues of psychological safety too. Below are some strategies HR departments can implement to help foster a more inclusive work environment:

Training and Education

Cultivating an inclusive organization depends on the collective efforts and actions of everyone in it.  By training all staff members on the importance of inclusivity, HR departments can ensure the values they wish to instill within the organization are filtered throughout. This includes C-suite level executives, management and frontline employees.

Education initiatives such as workshops and seminars that focus on uncovering unconscious biases and exploring cultural competence can help all personnel understand and assimilate the principles of inclusion within the workplace.

Celebrate Differences

Organizations that recognize and celebrate the culture and traditions of all employees. Whether it’s marking significant holidays or religious festivals of various religions and faiths or encouraging employees to bring in foods that showcase their country, HR can foster a sense of belonging for all employees.

Treat everyone equally

An inclusive workplace is one that doesn’t discriminate on any grounds. This can be achieved by treating all employees equally, and avoiding preferential treatment to any one particular group or gender.

By implementing these strategies, HR can demonstrate its commitment to inclusion, empowering all employees to be their best selves within the workplace.