The landscape of business is changing every day and faster than ever before. Companies like Google, Zappos, and LinkedIn are being led by forward-thinkers who’s purpose is to identify these changes, their effects, and how to best create a company culture that serves each employee. More and more companies are taking notice and turning their focus to empowering their employees and developing their people strategy. People strategy is about creating a dynamic, collaborative environment where each one of your employees feels like an integral part of the company as a whole. In this article, we’ll talk about what Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are and give some quick tips on how to make an impactful effort in your own company.
First, let’s define and understand what diversity, inclusion, and belonging are in the workplace. Then you can tailor it and refine it to make the most sense for your company or organization.
Diversity- a mix of people with different backgrounds and experiences
Inclusion- how well your diverse group of employees works together collaboratively
Belonging- can your diverse group of employees work together while feeling empowered to be their true selves
Now that you know how each of the words above is defined in business, you might be wondering why this is important? Mckinsey and Company embarked on a multinational report which found that racially diverse companies outperform others by 35 percent. That’s a big difference. It’s becoming universally understood that a diverse population that has learned to work with each other develop more creative solutions, continue to innovate and have overall higher problem-solving abilities. Empowering your employees to not only celebrate their differences but to also use them for innovation can make a major difference in your business and its culture.
How to emphasize diversity, inclusion, and belonging in your company
Whether you’re the CEO or Office Manager, you have the ability to give major contributions to building a company culture everyone will enjoy. A culture that celebrates individuals differences and uses them to the business’ advantage instantly has an upper hand against its competitors. There are 3 major ways that you can ensure each of these are interwoven into your companies people strategy.
The Culture comes from the top. It’s up to each employee to lead by example, but the first example is set by Senior Management. If you are a leader of a company, and if you want people to have enthusiasm about coming to work every day, you have to show it every day as well.
Hire people who fit the company culture. If you set a precedent for diversity, inclusion, and belonging, you will be able to use that as a benchmark in the hiring process. If an employee who gets hired on doesn’t celebrate the qualities your organization values and requires, they will soon stick out. (Encouraging referrals from current employees is a great way to recruit a diverse group of people with similar work ethics and values).
Make sure the culture is put into practice. You can’t uphold the culture by yourself, make sure to surround yourself with people who aren’t an echo chamber, are willing to execute reasonable improvements, and can help keep the culture while scaling up.
Your employees want to feel valued. If you’ve done a good job of recruiting, your company will be filled with people who care about their careers and the overall health of the organization around them. In an ultra-competitive work environment like San Francisco, employees are caring more than ever before about who their employer is and what they stand for. Empowering each individual to use their diversity to their advantage, understanding that collaboration will help them and the company succeed, and giving each person the comfort to act like themselves at work is a sure-fire recipe to creating a successful and happy work culture.
diversity, inclusion, and belonging Examples from Jones it
At Jones IT, a focus was put on diversity and inclusion from the beginning. The company, founded by Evan Jones, who later on brought on a few close friends, was built with an emphasis on clear communication, trust, and camaraderie. The culture at the very start of a company is the groundwork that everything else is built on. Our focus on working hard, playing hard, and maximizing our efficiency at every opportunity has set us up for continued improvement and success. If you look around our company, you can see how diverse we really are. Check out our Employee Spotlights to learn more about our diverse group here at Jones IT.
We have been able to assemble a diverse group of employees, but have also created activities and programs that emphasize inclusion. One example is our JITU presentations that are given by an employee on the first Friday of every month. This gives an opportunity for individuals to share something they are passionate about or enjoyed learning to the rest of the company. I was able to give my presentation on mindfulness, meditation, and the benefits of developing a practice in work and life.
Other activities to bring about inclusion and belonging are barbecues at the office, happy hours, ping pong tournaments, and more. We require each new employee to have a “coffee chat” with their teammates, in order to learn about one another outside of the office. We’ve built out our office to have multiple collaborative and rest areas, to give employees opportunities to hang out with one another in a casual open setting. The list goes on.
Last but not least, Belonging.
Our sense of belonging here at Jones IT comes from the example set by our senior management and veteran employees. They have set a precedent from the beginning for each new employee that comes in. Combining the activities and programs mentioned above, with an attitude rooted in patience, listening, and understanding has become a successful recipe for us. We are happy to have each person be themselves here. It’s what makes coming to work everyday fun. I don’t have to be anyone but myself, and I’m accepted for that. This is what I appreciate most about working at Jones IT, and if you’re looking to join a team like ours, we’re hiring. Visit our careers page.
start focusing on your people strategy today!
Through this article, we’ve learned about diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. As well as how to influence your company culture, no matter what your position or title is, and how to continue to create a positive environment for each individual in the organization. As the workforce continues to change, it’s important to be adaptable and up to date with your employee’s expectations and feelings. The work is never done, but if you make your people a priority and take a human-centric approach to the problems, you will notice benefits across the entire company.
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