At Qlearsite we often talk about employee experience and how important it is. Inclusion plays a big part in that, and with more and more companies now adapting to the hybrid world and people going back to the office, it seems the right time to look at the level of inclusion has been affected by that.
When we think about inclusion, we look at four main dimensions:
Safety and Access are key elements when it comes to creating an inclusive work environment. It means that everyone has access to facilities in the office and feels safe at work. When we think about safety we should also take into consideration that some people are still fearful of commuting to work and using public transport, some because of their own health and some because they might live with people who are more vulnerable.
The pandemic changed the way we work and the way we think about our workplace and companies’ policies should reflect that and be more inclusive, allowing people to work from home or to travel during quieter times of the day avoiding rush hour.
More about safety and access can be found in this blog, which we wrote earlier in the year.
Trust and fairness mean that employees can believe that company leaders will treat everyone equally and without bias. This itself is a challenge but when it needs to be done in a hybrid work environment it is even more difficult.
We talk a lot about the pros and cons of hybrid working, but one particular problem can be proximity bias and presence disparity. Some people might spend fewer days in the office than others – particularly traditionally disadvantaged groups like those with disabilities or women – and senior leaders have to make sure that these groups are not excluded when it comes to company updates, training programmes, new projects and promotions.
It is also important that organisations invest in technology and proper tools so everyone, regardless of their work location, has equal opportunities to participate in meetings and do their job seamlessly and efficiently.
More about trust and fairness in the workplace can be found here.
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Belonging is a key element of creating an inclusive work environment. It means that everyone’s identity is celebrated and people feel safe to be their authentic selves and express different opinions without fear of retaliation.
Employees who feel a sense of belonging in the workplace are happier, more engaged, more connected to their colleagues and are more likely to go above and beyond to show better results at work. Connectedness and collaboration, however, might be disrupted when people are working remotely and don’t have the chance to meet in the office every day. Zoom calls and online training are now the ‘normal’ way of getting the job done but they can also leave a sense of loneliness.
Office team days or team buildings can be one way of bringing everyone together and celebrating their differences. Allowing employees to free time in their diaries for no-work chat is another way to help them feel more connected and to get to know each other – you should find out what works best for your company and people.
In the article, we wrote about why belonging is important. You can find tips on how to foster belonging in your workplace.
Acceptance is closely linked to belonging and it means that people feel confident to express who they are. As a result, they feel confident to express who they are and build relationships with co-workers and managers. When feeling accepted people also are motivated to perform better and deliver high results.
When we think about fostering company culture In the age of hybrid working, we need to recognize that creating a sense of acceptance can be more difficult but certainly not impossible. In fact, HR and senior leadership now have a chance to take this challenge and really focus on creating work policies that are flexible and inclusive so no member of the team feel they aren’t acceptance
On the surface, your organisation may seem diverse and inclusive enough to attract talent and retain people but the only way to know if this is true is to send a survey. With hybrid working practices changing your workplace culture, now is a great time to check-in.
Using advanced language analysis technology our Inclusion survey helps you measure in depth all four main key areas of inclusion. It’s designed by experts to help you pin-point and address inclusion issues that are blocking progress on diversity – so you can use your employees’ lived experiences to guide change.
It’s also free to use – along with the rest of our Employee Feedback Platform. Why not sign up (no payment details required) and see for yourself?