It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. Diversity and inclusion have never gained this much support especially with the recent surge in Black Lives matter movement but it’s too easy to see through how diversity and inclusion strategies at some workplaces rely on sheer tokenism. Filling in numbers on paper to fulfill diversity is extremely convenient when there is a lot to be done at work, but the inauthenticity of it can be very easy to spot. For any workplaces that are working to expel tokenism and celebrate authentic diversity, here are three simple tips they can consider:
- Don’t play favorites.
Playing favourites can be an easy way to manage workplaces, especially when it comes to employment and promotion. But it is a dangerous game to play when current ethos calls for equal opportunities for all. Employees will easily spot any favouritism in play–even if managers are trying to be discreet about it—this will dampen morale. By and large, favouritism sends a demoralizing message that discourages equal opportunities. For this reason, it’s crucial to check policies to see if there are revamps that can be made to eradicate favouritism from any hiring practices along with promotions.
- Educate employees regularly and consistently.
Education about diversity and inclusion is essential at workplaces to promote positive and welcoming culture. When educating employees about diversity and inclusion, don’t put out boring online courses for employees to take. Include fun activities and prepare engaging Q&A panels to boost morale and increase interest level in diversity education overall. Remember, authenticity is will be visible when organizing those activities. Be sure to carefully select people who have a heart for this cause that so that anyone can tell how sincere the intention is.
- Create a culture of empowerment, not bureaucracy.
Empowering employees is immensely critical to create positive and inclusive work culture. One way to show empowerment is to keep bureaucracy and power in check at work. Coming up with solutions to remove parts of bureaucracy that are deemed unnecessary will give employees more ways to voice their concerns and contribute to growth of the organization. Another practice to consider is to have regular roundtable discussions. This will showcase how everyone has a place to suggest solutions to improve and enrich the organization. The key to roundtable discussions is to ensure that they don’t become perfunctory meetings. Providing attainable goals and consistent follow-ups will help employees to feel much more empowered them before and it will add to their productivity.
It is no secret that diversity and inclusion is a difficult road to be on. But taking an easy way out is no longer an option. Workplaces are expected to be leaders that yield positive changes and impact in our society. Keeping this in mind, workplaces should be able to set a good example for others to follow. While the road to diversity and inclusion is not a rosy path for several workplaces, the positive ripple effect will be well worth it.
About Veronica Chung
Veronica is a communications professional based in Toronto who is passionate about diversity, politics, and equality. She is also an avid reader who enjoys reading Agatha Christie mysteries and inspirational biographies. When she is not working, you can find her grappling with Portuguese and Swedish. You can follow Veronica on LinkedIn and Twitter.