Building and nurturing a culture of diversity and inclusion is critical for modern organizations. Not only does it decrease turnover rates, but it also makes happier, more motivated and engaged employees and boosts overall morale. Besides, studies have shown that diversity in the workplace can actually increase the bottom line.
Your employees are the backbone of your organization and it is necessary that you keep them happy. There is no point in having a multi-talented team if they do not feel like they are being represented, that their needs are met and their voices are heard. If your team did not feel valued, comfortable and understood by the management as well as their colleagues, your organization as a whole will be the one to bear the brunt of it.
Modern, successful companies have realized this and have marked mentoring for diversity and inclusion as a critical part of their culture. Here are the different ways that they have managed to achieve this:
- Create a sense of community
In order for each employee to feel comfortable enough to share their ideas and voice their opinions, they need to feel like they belong. Building a close-knit community driven by a sense of belonging is one of the first steps companies must make in order to train your employees for diversity and inclusion. Well-known global companies like AT&T understand just how crucial this is, and have made numerous efforts to make every employee feel like they belong. One of these efforts is creating employee networks (ENs) and employee resource groups (ERGs).
- Make use of quality mentoring software
Today, companies can take advantage of quality, user-friendly and comprehensive mentoring software such as MentorCloud in order to provide mentoring programs on diversity and inclusion to their employees. It’s simple, easy and effective. While the benefits garnered from mentoring for diversity and inclusion are massive, just the act of mentoring itself contributes to the strengthening of a culture that understands the importance of diversity and inclusion. MentorCloud has unique features that make mentoring a simple task both mentor and mentee can benefit from.
- It is important to have an empathetic leader
Often, people tend to think that diversity and inclusion in the workplace that should be initiated and taken care of by HR. However, this is only a small part of the act. In order to really incorporate these values into your company’s culture, in order for each and every one of your employees to really understand its importance and embrace it, leadership plays a key role. As a leader, you need to really believe in the importance of diversity and inclusion. You must want your employees to feel valued and comfortable, both professionally and emotionally. Only this way will you bring about real change.
- Acknowledge (if not celebrate) holidays of various cultures
A great and fun way to spread awareness of diversity and inclusion and their importance is to acknowledge holidays of different cultures and religion. Your workforce isn’t constituted of only one group of people from the same background. These are people from different cultural and religious backgrounds who have come together to work for your company, and by acknowledging and maybe even celebrating their holidays, you show that you accept and respect their backgrounds.
- Make everyone aware of unconscious bias
There is a possibility that you, your co-workers or your employees may have an unconscious bias against people of certain groups. In order to have a truly inclusive and diverse company, such biases need to be addressed. People must be made aware of these, and how unconscious bias-driven actions and words can affect other people. Encourage people to reflect on their own personal assumptions.