While diversity and inclusion continue to be a significant point of focus for businesses in nearly every industry, progress to improve company cultures has been predominately slow. Many demographic groups are still surprisingly underrepresented in a range of fields. Many minorities continue to be the targets of harassment and bullying on a regular basis, though even those who aren’t subject to such treatment aren’t necessarily comfortable in their workplaces.
While company leaders typically strive to find solutions to these problems, trying to move quickly isn’t always the best approach. In fact, it could actually be harming your inclusivity goals.
When Management Focuses on Solutions First
Managers are often used to tackling problems, so having a solution-oriented mindset is common. Attempting to find a path that leads to the desired result is often a priority, and they usually strive to move quickly when issues like bullying and harassment are involved.
Often, this leads to the creation of new policies that will hopefully quell the issue in a timely manner. While setting clear rules and guidelines should be viewed as a must, this approach doesn’t always tackle the core issue.
A solution-oriented mindset can lead managers to miss a critical piece of the inclusion puzzle, taking the time to listen to their employees about their needs, as well as how they view the situation.
Further, setting new policies doesn’t guarantee a person’s behavior or the company’s culture will change. Unless management is willing to take action, a policy is nothing more than words on paper, and it doesn’t necessarily have the power to create a solution on its own.
Steps to Promote Inclusivity in the Workplace
Before management focuses solely on finding a solution, they need to take a moment and listen to their workers. Ask your staff questions and allow them to articulate their perspective on the matter. In some cases, this can be accomplished with an open dialogue. However, if bullying and harassment are present in the workplace, then using anonymous surveys may be a better approach if you want honest answers.
As employees respond, review their answers to identify patterns. Is the same thought being expressed by multiple people? Is one issue appearing over and over again?
Once you identify the core issues, determine whether it stems from a lack of proper policies, a problem within the culture, or something else before you attempt to find a solution. In many cases, cultural norms are the largest factor that impacts inclusivity, so crafting a new policy isn’t necessarily the most effective course of action.
If the culture is to blame, management needs to be active about remedying the situation. This could include interjecting when a worker acts or speaks in an inappropriate manner, guiding employees who are behaving poorly, and enforcing existing policies when it comes to corrective actions.
By taking an active stance, managers can begin to reshape the culture to support inclusivity. If you would like to learn more about how you can create a more inclusive workplace, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can make achieving your goal of creating an inclusive culture easier than ever before.