Here at Aspiring to Include, we believe that having an inclusive workplace begins with the company culture and atmosphere. Whether you are a business owner, a manager, or even just an employee, there are things you can do to promote effective company culture.
Effective company culture is where all staff members feel content and valued in their roles and feel comfortable raising any challenges they face at work. This kind of atmosphere aids inclusivity as all staff know that whatever their differences, their work and ideas are taken seriously and appreciated.
Five ways to improve a workplace culture
Make space and time for wellbeing.
Ironically one of the easiest ways to ensure staff are content in their role is by focusing on the things around their job, such as their wellbeing. This is because we spend a considerable proportion of our week at work, and so we cannot shut out our everyday lives when we are at work.
By creating the space and time to discuss mental health and general wellbeing, you are ensuring that your staff have the opportunity to take care of themselves, which in the long run will lead to more effective, productive and creative work. Space and time might look like regular wellbeing training, or one-on-one meetings, anything that allows staff the chance for reflection.
Encourage teamwork and collaboration.
Thriving company culture isn’t governed by a strict hierarchy but instead values all staff members no matter their position. One of the easiest ways to remove strict hierarchies is by encouraging teamwork and collaboration. This may not always be practical. It doesn’t mean you have to remove managers or those with more responsibility, but rather recognising that everybody works between when given a chance to share ideas with another person.
Take the ideas of everybody seriously.
Similarly to teamwork, an essential part of ensuring every staff member feels valued is taking their ideas and opinion seriously. This might look like asking some newer staff members to contribute to a big project or including those with less responsibility in bigger meetings. These are simple but effective ways to help promote an open work culture, where nobody feels afraid to share their opinions. Again, this is the easiest way to get the most creativity and innovation out of your staff.
Have regular team meetings
A straightforward structural change you can make to improve your company culture is having regular group meetings. This helps ensure that everybody feels part of the team and feels that there is a space for them to share thoughts and ideas with the rest of the group. If you have a really big team, these could be less regular or split into small groups to aid productivity; the main thing is keeping a regular schedule.
Take harassment, bullying and discrimination seriously.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, an effective company culture takes all forms of harassment, bullying and discrimination seriously. You need to ensure there are proper procedures in place for dealing with this kind of behaviour, so that staff know if they do face these problems you will take them seriously. If you feel there is a problem with workplace bullying, you might want to consider implementing some training on diversity and equality at work.
We have many more resources related to company culture and promoting inclusivity at work, you can find them all in our resource hub.