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Three Ways to Support Diversity and Inclusion at Your Company

If you want your company to be successful in the twenty-first century, you must focus on diversity and inclusion. A diverse workforce offers countless benefits. Individuals with different backgrounds offer distinct outlooks and ideas, helping to propel a company culture of creativity and innovation. Additionally, an inclusive environment encourages cultural awareness, which helps companies better understand the needs of their heterogenous consumer base. Finally, evidence has shown that company diversity simply leads to better profits. According to an article in Forbes, “Companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits.”

Unfortunately, many industries still struggle with inclusion, particularly in executive roles. According to an article published in Harvard Business Review, “Among the leaders of Fortune 500 companies, for example, just 32 are women; …just three are African-American; and not one is an African-American woman.”

EBSCO’s Accel5 offers content that helps employers and employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. See some tips directly from the tool below, or request a free trial to learn more.

Individuals with different backgrounds offer distinct outlooks and ideas, helping to propel a company culture of creativity and innovation.

Begin with Self-Awareness

If you want your company to be truly inclusive, you must be honest. Think objectively about your company’s policies. Ask yourself (and your teammates) some tough questions, or create a company-wide survey. Some questions to explore might include: What is your recruiting and hiring process like? What is the composition of your various departments? What about your managers and executives?  Does your company invest in diversity training programs?

Once you’ve gathered this information, you can analyze the steps your company can take to improve. For example, maybe your human resources department could begin recruiting at colleges with a higher international student population, or you could invite your female managers to participate in round table discussions with executives. When considering new approaches, be sure to consult with others to ensure that it will be valuable.

Lead by Example

Leaders in any organization must step up if they want to create a more inclusive culture for all employees. Sometimes, this can be more difficult than we think. As Howard Ross says in his exclusive Accel5 video, “we don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.”

In all departments, managers should be instructed to recognize any subconscious bias. These biases may present themselves in any aspect of leadership — from hiring to promoting and any business decision in between. It would be valuable to share with managers any information gathered from your company’s self-reflection so that they understand how others see the organization.

Once managers have recognized any bias within themselves or the company, you should work together to create clear guidelines on how to approach diversity within teams. Managers should be required to create written goals regarding diversity and inclusion, such as attending additional training sessions. Be sure to hold managers accountable by meeting regularly to discuss their goals and the company’s trajectory.

Update Your Culture

The most important part of creating an inclusive work environment is ensuring that all employees are involved. You can begin by implementing a company-wide diversity training workshop to help employees understand company policies and why they are important. It is also a good idea to have employees explore these topics on their own. A microlearning tool such as EBSCO’s Accel5® offers concise and actionable lessons in formats including videos, book summaries and articles. By offering a learning tool such as Accel5, employees have the freedom to study topics related to diversity and inclusion.

Of course, changing your culture should go beyond workshops and lessons. Encourage your employees to interact with each other by hosting networking lunches or after-work activities. Your company should also consider recognizing holidays of all religions and cultures. Depending on company policies, this can be done through at-work celebrations, paid time off, or just a simple announcement via email, intranet or physical signs wishing those that celebrate a happy holiday.

Creating a company that values diversity and inclusion should be at the top of your organization’s priorities. With the right mindset and the right tools, it does not have to be difficult, expensive or time consuming to establish an inclusive work environment.

To keep your employees invested in diversity and inclusion, try a free trial of EBSCO’s Accel5. With Accel5, your employees can discover hundreds of book summaries, videos and articles on diversity, as well as many other essential business topics. Request a free trial today.

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