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How to be an Inclusive Manager

Let’s learn all about inclusion, why it’s important, and how to create an inclusive company culture by David McDermott, our guest blog writer.

There are three elements all managers must consider for reaching business success–equality, diversity, and inclusion. 

Combined, these three bring about the importance of respect and equal opportunities for all in the workplace. All companies must be able to promote a safe workspace where every employee feels like an integral part of the team. 

If they don’t, they could be left feeling unvalued and unmotivated. And this could result in businesses facing discrimination claims, compensation penalties, and reputational damages. 

Let’s learn all about inclusion, why it’s important, and how to create an inclusive company culture. 

What is inclusion in the workplace?  

Inclusion in the workplace is all about building a working environment where all employees feel welcome and respected. It’s so important for all businesses to promote a culture that champions inclusivity.  

Employers can easily promote workplace inclusion through their practices, customs, and procedures. In return, employees will feel comfortable and motivated to work–and it’s this that leads to increased productivity and business success. 

Why is inclusion so important for businesses? 

For any business, you have both legal and moral duties for every person on your payroll. That means ensuring they are treated fair and reasonably–from their initial interview, right through to their last day of work. 

‘Fairness’ may seem like a basic or obvious manner to follow. But in the workplace, it stands as a lawful obligation for all employers to comply with. 

All employees have a legal right to be treated fairly during work–and this includes inclusivity. Employers need to ensure their staff receive their right to inclusivity and fair treatment.  

Ignoring this lawfully binding right can lead to detrimental consequences, like discrimination claims and tribunal hearings. And the reputational damage and legal expenses can be hard to recover from. 

The importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion 

Under the Equality Act (2010), employees have a legal right to be treated fairly. You can see ‘fairness’ as an umbrella term for equality, inclusion, and diversity. 

Every employee should receive fair treatment during their career. This stretches from their first day, right through to promotional opportunities. 

When you ignore their rights to inclusivity and fair treatment, it could be seen as discrimination. You cannot treat an employee unfairly because of nine protected characteristics. These include: 

  • Age. 
  • Disability.
  • Family status. 
  • Gender. 
  • Marital status. 
  • Pregnancy or maternity. 
  • Race. 
  • Religion or belief.
  • Sexual orientation. 

If an employee believes they’ve suffered from unfair treatment during work, they could raise this as grievance claim. These types of discriminatory claims are judged through tribunal courts. And if you are found guilty, you could face compensation fees, production losses, and reputational damages. 

How to be an inclusive manager within your workplace  

It’s so important to show your staff how your business prioritises all cultures, identities, and traditions. Make sure they hold equal treatment as an important principle; and celebrate employee differences.  

When you champion inclusivity, you will automatically promote diversity and equality without knowing. With attitudes like this, it enables teams to increase work-production, morale, and performance. 

Remember, inclusivity is the glue which holds employees together. Let’s take a look at how to be an inclusive manager within your workplace: 

Present an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy 

One of the most beneficial first steps to take is to present an equality, diversity, and inclusion policy. These guidelines are practices which employees must adhere to, in everyday work. 

Your equality, diversity, and inclusion policy can include things like: 

  • Openly encourage impartiality throughout your work duties. 
  • Present what is appropriate conduct and behaviour. 
  • Have zero-tolerance for discrimination and harassment. 
  • Outline grievance methods for resolving issues. 

You can even add your guidelines to employment contracts, employee handbooks, and workplace practices.  

Promote the importance of inclusivity 

You need to promote the importance of inclusion to everyone in your workplace. By presenting the correct education and advice, you’re on your way to creating a sound workplace who champions inclusivity. 

During everyday work, line-managers have a direct connection with employees. This means without them, it might prove near-impossible to implement changes or attitudes. So, start with them and make your way through educating everyone on promoting the importance of workplace inclusion. 

Provide inclusivity training  

You need to provide mandatory inclusion training to anyone on a managerial level. Educate them about the practical approach for workplace inclusivity, rather than providing a ‘dictionary-definition’ version. 

For example, you can introduce managerial training on eliminating ‘unconscious bias’. This is when a person has thoughts or makes judgements about others without realising it. These might seem like harmless, passing, or simple internal thoughts. But most of the time, these thoughts manifest as the drive for our decisions. 

Present inclusivity during onboarding stages 

it’s crucial to present inclusivity in all areas of your business–particularly during your onboarding stages. 

From advertising roles to initiating interviews, you need to make sure every level of your onboarding follows a fair and inclusive process. This helps everyone (particularly potential employees) understand your business ethos when applying for your roles. 

Ensure EVERYONE complies with inclusivity practices 

Inclusivity is something that all staff members need to respect. So, ensure everyone complies with inclusivity practices–from the bottom to the top. 

This can be done through so many methods. Like engaging in discussions to implementing appraisal plans.  

No matter how many people you employ, be a trouper and promote belonging and inclusion in your company. 

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