November 24, 2019

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Diversity and inclusion – best practices (part 2)

Part 2. Best practices for changing the culture of your organization

In Part 1 of this blog, Diversity and inclusion – best practices. Part 1. Diversity and inclusion: the terms and benefits explained, we discussed what diversity and inclusion in the workplace are and how companies can benefit from a diverse and inclusive policy. We also discussed how the Textmetrics B1 module can help you create job vacancies that everyone can understand, attract a diverse group of talent, and how using the gender check can prevent a male/female candidate bias.

But before you go ahead and use these tools, we would like to share four best practices for changing the culture of your organization to become more diverse and inclusive. Because it takes more than just our tools to be a diverse and inclusive organization.

#1. Inclusion is not just the business of HR

With the tools we offer at Textmetrics, the HR department of your company can actively contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of your organization. But it’s a misconception that diversity and inclusion are exclusively owned by HR. For real change to happen, everyone in your organization needs to play their part. Creating a feeling of belonging, of being a part of the organization or a group of people, brings out the best in people. An inclusive workplace is a workplace where people feel welcome.

You need to make sure that the leaders in your company are aware of this and are able to show empathic leadership; leaders need to be able to tap into a memory of when they were excluded, shamed or interrupted, so they can apply those lessons in practice. Empathic leaders that know what it feels like not to feel like they belong and are better at creating conditions that promote inclusion on a daily basis.

#2. Inclusion requires behavioral change

Teaching employees what it means to be an inclusive organization isn’t enough. Old habits aren’t easily changed through one-off training. For a long-term behavioral change, employees need to be pointed to key moments during which they can build new habits and behaviors. To accomplish this, you can ask leaders to identify how their department, team or working group can change and what skills and information they need to bring about this change. This is way more effective than one-off training sessions because what you want is for employees to change their entire behavior, not just learn a new skill.

#3. Don’t ask employees to fit in

It’s a natural thought that you want people to fit in. In many companies, people who fit in with the company norms and standards are rewarded. When you want to create an inclusive workplace, however, asking people to fit in can be dangerous. Because if someone doesn’t fit in, they can feel excluded. And if you want to be inclusive, everyone needs to feel like they belong.

What you should do instead is help people in your organization thrive. Make them feel respected and valued for who they are, and give them room to contribute to their full potential. Letting go of the thought that everyone needs to fit in with the company norms and standards to make a successful contribution can truly help with becoming a inclusive organization.

#4. Consider what your brand says about the culture of your company

Becoming more inclusive doesn’t only happen inside an organization. If you want to become a more inclusive organization, it’s important to consider the relationship between what’s happening inside and outside your company. What does your brand say about the culture of your organization? This is where the tools of Textmetrics come in again. The B1 module doesn’t only help you create job vacancies that everyone can understand, it can also be used for all other written communication.

HR departments can use the B1 module to attract a diverse group of talent and make sure that job vacancies appeal to men and women alike. Communication departments can use it to make sure that your brand voice reflects the diversity and inclusiveness of your company. It’s only when the outside world also views your company as diverse and inclusive that real behavioral change within your organization can take place.

 

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