Are you missing out on attracting and keeping good employees?

| June 8, 2022

There’s nothing so disastrous for a company when good employees see you tolerate bad workers!!

Workplace Inclusion is about creating environments that support each employee to feel a sense of belonging, irrespective of who they are or their position within your organisation.

When leaders decide to cultivate workplace Inclusion, it ensures their people are treated like people all the time, resulting in enhancement in staff attitudes and pride towards their work.

Gone are the days when employers could afford to treat their employees like a cog in a machinethrough brainwashing and coercion.

Today, employees know better, and they also have options in changing jobs if they are not satisfied.

A recent study conducted by Pew Research Center concluded that, “89% of adults say that it’s essential for today’s business leaders to create a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace”.A place that adopts a safer work environment supporting everyone, irrespective, of age, disability, race, sexuality, or gender.

Exclusion is costing your business

Many employees suffer racial assaults daily, this is well documented. Additionally, sexism and ableism are constant exclusionary practices in workplaces here in Australia and around the world.

There seems to be a disconnect between organisations having “shiny brochures”saying they are inclusive, and what actually happens in everyday life for women, Black folks, People with disability or gender diverse individuals.

As a society, we have differences, but we have categorised people into groups like Black people, LGBTIQ+ people, white people, People with Disabilityetc… These differences on their own are not the problem, rather, it’s the way in which we put emphasis on the differences, and how we choose to work with these difference is what matters.

With all the awareness and education today, many people still believe less diversity in staffing means fewer problems, less cost, and a stable business.

There is still the belief, if an applicant looks the same, sounds the same or comes from a similar background to the interviewer, they are more likely to be offered the job, and forgoing other possible suitable applicants for the role.

This “gut feeling”way of selecting applicants for employment, research tells us, over 90% of the time fails to recruit the most suitable and the high performing candidate for the organisation.

In fact we alsoknow that same isn’t safe; the lack of diversity in thoughts, ideas and people encourages poor culture and bad behaviour for businesses.

I’ll go further to say, exclusion is racism, and it is baked into every facet of society

This is because, out of all the categories,Black people, LGBTIQ+ people, white people, People with Disability, race is the strongest signifier of difference according to researchers. Therefore, if businesses gain an understanding of what racism is, and develop the capabilities to eliminate racism from their systems, all the other categories of differences can be eliminated as well.

As a way of example, Black women are one of the most disadvantaged when it comes to workplace exclusion, based on their identity in race, gender and social class. Therefore, when businesses can create a workplace Inclusion strategy that supports a Black woman at their work environment, guess what? The same process can support other women, LGBTIQ+ people as well as people with Disability.

As you can see, we have been conditioned to treat people, especially those that look different to us in a such way that are not always helpful to them. However, I believe many businesses by their nature in size and resources have the capability to drive the change needed to cultivate workplace inclusion to support everyone.

This is what will aid the right cultural shift needed to create the environments for Inclusion, that last. We must learn to solve these issues at the root cause to stop perpetuating the problem with band aide programs and tick a box training exercises.

How to really retain employees for good

Robert Livingston has demonstrated that to successfully engage with any racial group, requires conscious and deliberate efforts by businesses to address racism and structural bias.

He has outlined five critical steps for effective diverse engagement and inclusion that keeps your good staff and attracts new talents.

These steps include:

  1. Problem Awareness,
  2. Root-Cause Analysis,
  3. Empathy,
  4. Strategy and
  5. Sacrifice

Research tells us that even if businesses have diversity policies in place, they also need to take deliberate actions to address racism specifically with problem awareness. Recognition of this fact will pave the way to address workplace discrimination.

If Black women are made to feel safe to share detailed accounts of the negative impact that racism has had on their lives, this can aid to register an awareness in staff.

Any deliberate actions to develop racial diversity will also broaden the staff talent pool.

Once business leaders are aware of racial and diversity problems and can accept how they exist within their policies and practices, then the next question is whether they have the desire to do something about it.

Empathy will propel organisations and their people to act and bring about social justice through exposure and education.

An organisation that makes it a priority to include racial equity in its core values and model the behaviour from the top down, will influence both institutional policies and individual attitudes.

Having experienced workplace exclusion most of my professional working life as Black woman, I have made it my commitment to help Senior Executives create outstanding of workplace culture that helps create a sense of Belonging, retain good employees, and increase productivity. This is done by understanding how exclusion comes about so you that can mobilised inclusion for good.

Businesses that are vigilant to support marginalised groups through recruitment and retention combined with safeguards in training, mentorship and promotion will realise the benefits.

This is the services we prioritise at EVERYDAY INCLUSIONto help businesses swiftly follow with effective strategies for education, implementation, Evaluation and Review.