Many companies have put an added emphasis on strengthening policies around diversity and inclusion because they know that employees with different cultures and backgrounds bring in unique and fresh ideas.
Diverse ideas have a great way of making a company stronger. In addition, co-workers from different cultures can learn a lot from each other.
February is Black History month and it's an opportunity to celebrate African American culture and history in the workplace. But, if diversity and inclusion are always at the forefront at your workplace, there's an opportunity to celebrate diversity year-round.
Here are a few ways how:
Form A Diversity And Inclusion Committee
A committee focused on diversity and inclusion should include a mixture of employees and people serving in management positions. It should also contain people from different cultures and backgrounds.
The goal of such a committee is for it to have its hands on the pulse of the office culture. They should have a sense of what is working well in the office, and what needs to be improved.
The committee can then focus on either building on successes with diversity and inclusion, or brainstorming ways to do better. The committee can also have discussions about recruiting and hiring a diverse workforce.
Some companies hire a person to focus on diversity and inclusion and others utilize employee resource groups. All of these methods are effective in helping to foster an environment of diversity and inclusion.
The important thing is just having people who are constantly thinking about it and willing to have conversations.
Take Advantage Of Opportunities To Educate
As stated earlier, February is Black History Month and a great opportunity to celebrate African American culture and even recognize some African American employees who have made a positive impact on the workplace through the years (if they're willing to be recognized).
But it doesn't have to stop there. If you look at the calendar, there's ample opportunity to recognize all cultures throughout the year. Carve out time to recognize all cultures and backgrounds, and find a good balance between education and fun.
For example, an event like the Lunar New Year could be an opportunity to learn more about the Chinese culture, while preparing food and some decorations can be a way to bring some fun into the equation.
International Women's Day is in March and that's an opportunity to promote gender equality and recognize great female leaders within the company.
Many companies participate in local Pride parades in June to show support for their LGBTQ+ employees. It's also a great opportunity for workplace bonding and to participate in a community event.
The key is having employees or managers of various cultures and backgrounds who are willing to lead such efforts and share a little about their cultures.
Be A Team
If you're lucky enough to have a diverse workforce that understands and respects each other, then what you actually have is a well-rounded team working toward the same goals.
Take time to recognize the workforce as a whole and plan team-building activities to help the workforce strengthen their bonds. The team building could be work-related or take place outside of work as a fun activity.
If successful, having a strong team not only improves work performance, but it creates an environment where co-workers get along and want to get to know each other. People have an opportunity to learn about culture by the friendships they make naturally.
Has your company had success with diversity and inclusion in the workforce? Share your story with Work It Daily!