5 Signs of an Inclusive Employer

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5 Signs of an Inclusive Employer
Faye Allison

5 Signs of an Inclusive Employer

Faye Allison explores 5 reliable ways to recognise an inclusive employer

Diversity matters, and inclusive employers can be instrumental to career success.

Diverse employees are 3 times more likely than their peers to feel engaged and committed to their organisation when they feel a strong sense of belonging at work. What’s more, they’re also more likely to outperform their peers, and experience a greater level of career advancement.

In this article, I’ve drawn on my experience in the recruitment industry to put together 5 ways to recognise an inclusive employer.

You can expect to find out: 

  • Why inclusive workplaces are important
  • What an inclusive employer looks like
  • How to assess whether a workplace is right for you

Why is it important to have an inclusive workplace?

Longstanding inequalities in the workplace have been exacerbated by the pandemic, where minority groups have faced disproportionate disadvantages.

Research from the UK’s Trade Union Congress reveals that over 2020, 7 in 10 working mothers had their requests for furlough turned down by their employers, and 48% of working mothers were worried about facing further disadvantages at work due to their childcare commitments.

Global research from McKinsey shows that LGBTQ+, women and racial minority employees are less likely to experience career advancement, and more likely to be excluded at work, as well as to have heard derogatory comments.

In a world where talent shortages and skill gaps are continuing to accelerate, empowering every employee through positive action and fuelling diversity can help businesses and their people achieve mutual success. 

Inclusive employers facilitate diverse perspectives, showcase inclusion at a senior level, and foster a sense of belonging that is receptive to the values of their people. 
In return, they benefit from improved innovation, retention and productivity that advances and improves the organisation.

5 signs of an inclusive employer

1. Personal choice in how work is done

Flexibility is a core part of enabling inclusivity and wellbeing at work. 

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends reveals that personal choice in how work is done is one of the most important priorities for executives looking to support remote work arrangements going forward. This makes worker choice a strong indicator of a more inclusive workplace for diverse groups, that may benefit from autonomy and flexibility. 

2. Employees are comfortable owning up to mistakes

When you’re exposed to employees at your company, you may notice that mistakes are openly admitted, and that the focus is on follow on actions, rather than recrimination. 

This is a hallmark of a psychologically safe environment, where employees feel comfortable being open, and communicative with their peers and leaders. Diverse employees are more likely to succeed in psychologically safe climates, where they can bring their innovation and ideas to the forefront without being dismissed.

3. There are established channels for employee voices

Having clear and appropriate channels for employees, to communicate both ideas and challenges they face at work, can boost the ability of diverse employees to have their ideas heard and recognised. 

Employee voices can also influence and shape company values, enabling alignment between company purpose and employee motivation, improving engagement particularly for diverse groups whose views may be proportionally or traditionally less represented at a higher level. 

4. Objective performance evaluations

Objective performance evaluations base their assessment of an employee’s ability and what they have done, rather than on any subjective impression of them. 
When organisations form their performance evaluations with objectivity in mind, and actively fund initiatives to improve that objectivity, they’re more likely to be providing an inclusive environment for employees.

5. Diverse leaders in the organisation

Last, but by no means least, existing diverse leaders act as both role models, and representatives, for diverse groups. When an organisation has diverse leadership, it reflects its ability to not only hire a diverse individual but promote and enable diverse groups in a realistic and actionable way.

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