The workplace diversity and inclusion movement is making its way through companies across the nation. For good reason, corporate leaders are taking notice and establishing their own policies for building diverse business cultures. When employees feel safe and valued enough to share their various ideas and perspectives, the outcome is often a better, more creative and innovative finished product. Here are a few ways you can establish and maintain a culture of diversity and inclusion in your company.
Foster Innovative Thinking With Inclusive Teams
Many years of research suggest that diverse teams encourage innovation and inspire creativity in problem-solving. Therefore, a solid relationship between leadership and culture is essential to the success of an organization. To create a culture of inclusion, leaders should seek to bring together people of different ages, ethnicities, races as well as various personal and professional backgrounds and embrace their contributions to the brainstorming and strategizing processes. Team members who know their voices matter will have a deeper commitment to company strategy.
Model the Behavior You Desire From Your Employees
Your own behavior sets the tone for your business, and your employees expect you to exemplify corporate values. When establishing an inclusive and diverse workforce for the sake of better collaboration and teamwork, you must identify and model the behaviors that foster a positive culture. If you expect good communication, then you need to be an effective communicator. If you want everyone on your payroll to treat each other with dignity and respect, then you must do the same. Consistently reinforcing your values is critical to the kind of culture you’re looking to create, and your positive attitudes will trickle down into every aspect of your business from market strategy to customer relations.
Provide Frequent Diversity Training Opportunities
As a leader, while demonstrating model behavior is important, it’s not a singular solution to a culture problem. When making fundamental shifts to your company’s foundational beliefs, you must express your intentions and reinforce your position through training and development opportunities. If you want a culture of diversity and inclusion to become a default setting of your business policies and processes, then you need to coach your teams on how you need them to work together.
Remember that practice makes perfect in all things, including culture-building. As a leader, when you create, promote and celebrate diversity among your workers, you’re not only instituting ethical practices, but you’re also establishing your business as a socially conscious competitor in your market.