With the recent Black Lives Matter protests flaring up across the world, many of us are waking up to the stark realisation that we might not be as inclusive as we thought we were. With more BAME individuals entering the workforce than ever before and a genuine desire for many disabled people to get back into work after months of being cooped up indoors, businesses need to start seriously considering how inclusive they are or else face a monumental backlash. But where to begin?

Check your bias

There might be an unconscious bias at your business towards white, able-bodied male workers and it’s up to you to ensure you are pulling out the chairs to give everyone else the chance for a seat at the table. This might necessitate de-biasing training, where supervisors will be taught how to recognise that they are giving the best opportunities to candidates who are similar to themselves.

Inclusive leadership

Make a concerted effort to ensure all employees can be heard and are actively encouraged to speak up, regardless of their backgrounds. This means making inclusion not just a box to tick but a core value of your business. Unfortunately, it could also mean holding certain leaders to account, but that’s the price you must be willing to pay if you want to seriously consider workplace inclusivity.

Physical accessibility

Disabled workers require safe and convenient access to their workplace and, unfortunately, this is not always the case in many places of work, even today. There are plenty of steps that business leaders can take to make their disabled employees feel more included, such as investing in wheelchair accessible transportation from Allied Mobility and ensuring that every area of the business is practically accessible.

Communication

All leaders should be working towards building organic personal relationships with their team members but they should be doing so in a manner that is transparent and open, without being intrusive. The more involved you are in the lives of your employees, the more they are going to feel included and respected.

Pragmatic hiring

Diversity and inclusivity are the future of the recruitment world so don’t get left behind here. Make hiring people from different backgrounds a priority and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards. Because this will bring more diverse perspectives to the table and more innovation as a result.

Ultimately, if you can make all of your employees feel genuinely appreciated then they are that much more likely to work harder for you and provide better results. So, it shouldn’t be a question of “why should I make my business more inclusive?” It should be a question of “why not?”