National Inclusion Week is back Monday 25th September – Monday 1st October. The aim of the week is to encourage employers and employees alike to engage with inclusion in their workplaces.
Having an inclusive culture is important for every workplace. Jacky Stansfield Smith, CEO at DLC Training said, “I believe inclusivity is important from the onset of every professional relationship to ensure everyone feels seen, valued and understood”. By creating an inclusive and diverse culture, employees feel comfortable and confident to go into work and be themselves. This in turn creates a positive and productive working environment.
NIW is a great opportunity for employers to show their commitment to inclusion. It’s also the perfect starting point for creating conversations and generating ideas on ways to improve inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
National Inclusion Week Theme For 2023
NIW is celebrated each year with a specific theme. This usually reflects an area that many organisations need support with. The theme for National Inclusion Week 2023 is Take Action Make Impact.
The theme for 2023 reinforces last year’s theme, ‘Time to Act: The Power of Now’ which focused on encouraging immediate action to achieve faster results towards a more inclusive workplace. Take Action Make Impact encourages a strategy for action, to ensure it has the desired impact on inclusion and diversity in the workplace. When taking action to improve inclusion, you should ask yourself a number of questions:
- What impact do you think these actions are going to produce and why?
- Who will benefit from these actions?
- Are there any unintended consequences?
- Is this a fully inclusive approach?
- How can we measure the impact?
- Have I consulted with those needing this action/support to determine their thoughts?
By asking these questions, you can ensure any action you take towards a more inclusive environment will create a positive impact for your workplace.
5 Top Tips For Leaders to Enhance Inclusivity in the Workplace
To support National Inclusion Week, leaders at DLC Training have put together five tips for enhancing inclusion in the workplace:
- Highlight inclusivity as a core value
- Create safe spaces
- Mandatory diversity training
- Have a non-discrimination policy
- Encourage and act on feedback
Highlight inclusivity as a core value
Making inclusivity a core value of your business is a great way to encourage a positive workplace culture. Jacky said, “Having a robust inclusivity message from recruitment and onboarding through to regular companywide interactions will ensure people feel confident and empowered. This will result in a positive and healthy work environment”.
Create safe spaces
Creating safe spaces that cater for everyone, including underrepresented groups, helps employees to feel confident and accepted in the workplace. For example, having unisex toilet facilities available to employees who require them. For people with disabilities, some changes to the working environment may be needed to allow them to carry out their role as comfortably as possible. This can include things such as accessible parking spots and modifying work areas to include special equipment.
Mandatory diversity training
A major obstacle for many workplaces is the stereotypes and prejudices about certain groups of people. These preconceptions stem from a lack of understanding, and can usually be reframed through training. Training should include raising awareness on the different types of diversity to reduce biases and discrimination. It should also include ways of understanding and embracing differences, as well as tips for improving interpersonal skills. This training should be a requirement for all employees. A good time to include this is during the onboarding process.
Have a non-discrimination policy
Having a formal policy against discrimination is another way to create a more inclusive workplace. Having this policy displayed around the workplace or on the company website is a good way of reminding employees of the company’s values and rules.
Encourage and act on feedback
One of the best ways to create a more inclusive workplace is by asking employees what would make the workplace a more comfortable space for them. To do this you can create and send out surveys to all employees and ask for some feedback to help improve. When you have received the feedback, it’s important to take on board any points that were brought up, and set up a plan for solving these issues.
Creating an inclusive workplace is one of many responsibilities leaders face in their roles. Discover how DLC Training can help you develop your leadership and management skills.