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Corporate Leadership Strategy: Promoting an Inclusive Company Culture

Inclusive company culture

By Arleen Atienza

May 19 2022 - Nowadays, customers are not just meticulous about the products or services that theyíre buying but also about who theyíre buying them from. While price will always be one of the factors, consumers are also concerned about what companies stand for and if their corporate values are aligned with theirs. This additional factor can be attributed to the access to information through the internet combined with the overall progressive discussions about equality and inclusivity. Given this, corporate leaders must be aware of the role that their company will play in regards to these discussions and make a conscious effort to integrate these important values, including inclusivity, into their company culture.

Benefits of an Inclusive Company Culture

Diverse point of views that can lead to better solutions

When you have a room full of "yes" people, you donít have a sense of check and balance when it comes to making decisions. Some people may think that having opposing views may lead to disharmony or lower productivity in the workplace, but challenging and encouraging each other through respectful discourse will lead to better solutions. It can also potentially inspire team members to challenge their own points of view and sharpen their critical thinking skills.

Access to a broader talent pool

Having an inclusive company culture does not only help your current employees feel welcomed, but future workers as well. Promoting inclusivity and diversity as part of your employer brand will help you attract more job seekers. This means that you have access to a broader talent pool in terms of diversity, skills, and specializations.

A workforce that reflects the changing customer base

Itís important for a company to be aware of the changes in their community or in the marketplace. They must also make an effort to reflect this progress on their workforce. This way, they are more in tune with whatís happening around them and have access to viewpoints that they may not have if they were stuck in their old ways.

Higher employee retention rates

Employers must make sure that their employees feel that their work is appreciated and their culture is respected. Working towards a rewarding, respectful, and truly inclusive workplace will encourage better workplace retention. Although a good compensation package and meaningful work play a big part in employee retention, employees will choose to work in a place with a positive and inclusive culture.

How You Can Promote an Inclusive Company Culture

It starts from the top

In order to build a learning development culture that includes not just technical skills but also corporate values, the effort must begin at the top level. Leaders must be committed to creating a culture that is continuously learning, improving, and moving towards values that are important to the community they cater to. The HR department can form a council whose primary goal is to ensure that diversity and inclusive practices are upheld. This council will not only lead training covering these topics but also hold company leaders accountable when they discover gaps in the organization.

Embrace diversity

Having a diverse workforce should be celebrated and embraced. The Human Resources teamís diversity and inclusivity council can engage with employees who can act as representatives or resource people to ensure that members of different communities feel welcomed and well-represented. They can get ideas for corporate events or newsletters like important holidays or cultural practices.

The council can also request for feedback from these resource people, whose perspectives can lead the team into making adjustments that can improve the work lives of employees, like adding ramps for wheelchairs or addressing problematic language or terms used by the company. While discussions may seem difficult or uncomfortable, these are necessary in improving your company culture.

Encourage collaboration

To truly reflect an inclusive and diverse workforce, itís important to show that even with, or because of, their varied backgrounds (gender, race, nationality, etc.), a diverse team can succeed as long as they work together and respect each other. They can challenge each otherís beliefs while also being supportive of one another. When there is a clear common goal that theyíre working towards, diverse team members will learn to work with one another and embrace the different solutions that they can come up with.

Promote better communication

Provide meeting materials in advance for employees for whom English is not their native language or for those who have difficulty speaking up in meetings. This way, they can prepare beforehand and be more confident in speaking up during the meeting or reach out to the project leads if they have any clarifications or suggestions.

For companies with a distributed workforce, itís important to embrace both synchronous and asynchronous communication apps to engage with remote workers. Just because theyíre not physically at the office doesnít mean that theyíre out of the loop.

Itís true that the discussion of diversity and inclusivity in all spaces - from corporate to education to government institutions - has evolved from decades past. However, the work is far from over, and companies play an important role in promoting these values and making sure that their company culture not only reflects the changing of the times but also helps with the economic development of the people in the community.

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