Welcome to the workplace of the future, where diversity and inclusion are no longer buzzwords but indispensable components of the business ABC. In fact, they are embraced by every employee. The time of a uniform work environment where everyone looks the same is behind us. Think about the most iconic symbol of office life of all time: office cubicles. You know, the rows of desks with a few partitions around them. They have always represented uniformity. It was mainly an efficient way to organize office space, leaving little room for creativity and openness. And, let’s be honest: doesn’t this pigeonhole employees?
By Evelien Pleging
It is time to pave the way for a diverse and inclusive workplace where every voice is heard, every background is valued, and every talent is utilized. Embracing cultural differences has already begun: your favorite series is Scandinavian, your favorite food is Indonesian, and your go-to TikTok account is British. Everywhere you look, you can see influences, and it’s no different in the workplace. Diversity and inclusivity are no longer optional but the key to success in a future-proof business environment. So, let’s embrace our differences! Do you want to accelerate towards a diverse and inclusive work environment? We’ll give you six tips to promote D&I in your company:
1. Attention: The first step is to put the topic on the agenda. It may sound simple, but a shared understanding of the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion can only arise through discussion. Give attention to the subject and raise awareness of the current situation within your organization.
2. Research: Assess how things are going within the organization. Conduct (anonymous) research on diversity and inclusion using tools like Everybody Frank or Mentimeter. This way, you can identify and address barriers that may hinder an inclusive work culture.
3. Involve management: To bring about real change, the involvement of management is essential. They must feel and promote the urgency and benefits of a diverse and inclusive work environment. By setting a good example, they can encourage employees to actively engage in creating a diverse work culture.
4. Diversity policy: A diversity policy with guidelines, goals, and tools is essential. It provides clarity about the path the organization wants to take and the steps being taken to make the culture more diverse and inclusive. Everyone in the organization can refer to it at any time.
5. Diversity and inclusion training: We are all biased, often without realizing it. By engaging in conversations with each other, employees can become aware of the biases and privileges they have. Let’s play equal is a game designed to do just this. Only when you see your biases, can you take action to reduce them.
6. Recruitment: Make it clear in your job vacancies that your company encourages diversity. Ensure that job postings are formulated in an inclusive manner to attract diverse candidates.
These steps are a simple way to make your company more accessible to everyone, regardless of origin, gender, belief, disability, or sexuality. To give uniqueness and creativity space. It all starts with treating employees as individuals and not as targets confined to small cubicles without their own identity. Break down those so-called system partitions and make people more visible. Provide the space and openness for everyone to be themselves in a safe manner, but also take the opportunity to have a conversation with someone you would not normally talk to. Start the conversation with each other today and see what you can learn from each other.
This blog is written for Let’s play equal, a board game designed by Blyde Benelux, BR-ND People, Greenjobs.nl and Misteli creative agency to kickstart understanding of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). Read more about the game in this blog or via www.letsplayequal.com.