How to Create an Inclusive Work Environment

Is Technology the Secret?

Studies show that workplaces and schools with greater diversity outperform less diverse environments. When folks from different backgrounds bring their viewpoints and skill sets together, it creates a rich atmosphere for growth. However, for all these varying viewpoints to come together in a smooth, productive fashion, you must provide the infrastructure that allows for open, authentic dialogue. Doing so will ultimately lead to a happier, more creative team.

The question is: how? How can you implement more inclusive communication strategies that support your talented, diverse workforce?

With a multitude of perspectives and communication styles, it helps to provide the insight and tools needed to bring people together. Here’s how you can do that in the workplace:

Encourage Open Communication

We all gravitate toward what is familiar, which is why communication issues oftentimes result from a lack of familiarity — whether that be between generations, genders, races, religions or among the LGBTQ+ community.

Many groups are underrepresented in certain work settings, and lack of familiarity can lead to closed communication that can impact the overall tone. We recently wrote a blog on the workplace habits of Generation Z. Understanding team members’ values and experiences can ultimately lead to increased capacity for connection, problem-solving and a lot more.

That’s why it’s important to encourage open communication that empowers your employees to express themselves honestly. It could lead to better work.

Employees Come First

It’s common sense, but healthy, happy workers will be more productive and creative.

As an organization, you should take actionable steps to create a healthy work environment that allows your employees to feel heard and valued. It doesn’t just happen by chance, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Communication values should be aligned with your recruiting, hiring and retainment strategy. Connecting your team is an ongoing process that begins with leadership.

Lead by Example

To create an environment in which everyone feels like they belong, consider adopting inclusive leadership styles. This could include behaviors that model empowerment, accountability, courage and humility.

Research shows that social barriers hold high-potential, underrepresented employees back. This is true of women, and especially true for women of color. It’s important to address these barriers to proactively level the playing field. Assumptions can fortify the walls that stand in the way of having more harmonious relationships. Don’t assume your workforce has a stringent and set communication style. Foster open, fluid communication that not only identifies problems before they become unmanageable but empowers your employees to do their best work.

Make Communication Easier

Implement more flexible, immediate collaboration tools like video, screen sharing, and instant messaging. You can even roll all these tools together into a unified communications (UC) platform that reduces costs and makes internal communication more accessible and reliable.

For more insight into how you can leverage technology to create a more inclusive workplace environment, check out these articles:

If you’re interested in learning more about Select Communication’s business collaboration solutions, visit www.selectcommunications.com/solutions/.