4 Tips for employees to support Diversity & Inclusion
Generations Recruitment strives to ensure Meaningful Recruitment. The first step of a Meaningful Recruitment strategy is to rethink the way companies approach their business by defining a purpose and thinking about their social responsibility on society. In today’s society, diversity and inclusion is an essential part of a company culture. We already explained the difference between diversity and inclusion and their importance.
Results from our recent LinkedIn POLL suggests that only 58% of the participants feel like their company is diverse. Regarding inclusion, 25% of the participants did not think their company was doing great either. We already took a look at tips for employers to ensure diversity and tips for employers to ensure inclusion, but did you know that you as an employeecan also help? Keep reading to find out what employees can do to support diversity and inclusion within their company!
Tip 1: Educate yourself
When you want to support diversity and inclusion within your company, it is important to educate yourself first. We each have unconscious bias, that can only be identified and tackled by opening up to other point of views.
Make sure you know what the vision of your employer is on diversity & inclusion and the goals they would like to achieve regarding this. It is also important to look at the impact of diversity on your own role within the company. Maybe your role can even help them reach their objectives. You can also ask yourself what you personally bring to the table regarding diversity.
Make sure to be open to learning from the different cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds of your colleagues too. You can ask them directly for more information (if they are open to it) or do a quick search online to find out more. This way you can avoid stepping on anyone’s toes while talking to them at work. If you do insult someone, appoligize correctly and ask them for advice to avoid this in the future. It is a constant learning journey because most negative behavior stems from ignorance, so willingness to educate yourself goes a long way.
Tip 2: Follow the diversity and inclusion policies
When you educated yourself on diversity and inclusion within your company, you certainly came accross the different diversity and inclusion policies. Make sure to follow these carefully and try to encourage your coworkers to do the same. The most important rule of thumb is that employees need to make sure that all colleagues are treated with dignity and respect. To help you, we list the main policies in most companies here.
First of all, you can’t discriminate against any of your colleagues. Most likely your company takes strict measures if this rule is broken. Discrimination can be both direct and indirect. Direct discrimination refers to the most obvious mistakes, like only accepting white male candidates for a job. Indirect discrimination on the other hand, refers to a disadvantage due to certain criteria a job demands. For example, fulltime employment without flexible hours discriminates mothers indirectly because they are often not able to meet those demands.
Secondly, employees need to make sure that all colleagues are treated with dignity and respect. Last but not least, employees are expected not to show any behavior that can be seen as harassment. Harassment in the workplace comes in 3 forms: physical, verbal and visual. Physical harassment can be straightforward, like touching someone without consent; but also more subtle, like playing offensive music. Verbal harassment is probably the most noticeable and goes from sending offensive emails to imitating an accent behind someone’s back. Visual harassment can be showing obvious inappropriate content or just wearing clothes with an offensive text.
Tip 3: Change your mindset
To fully support diversity and inclusion in your company, you might need to change your mindset. Focus on treating people how they want to be treated. Most of the time people use the saying ‘treat others like you would want to be treated’, but this is not always true. What you like or find comfortable, might not at all align with what your colleagues like or feel comfortable with. In order to find out what they need and want, one word is king: COMMUNICATION. Always be respectful, and take this into account outside the office hours as well.
An important asset of diversity is that it generates diverse ideas. Therefore, be open to other opinions that might differ from your own and try to keep an open mind when your colleagues have an idea. Improving an idea of a colleague with your knowledge and skills, will most likely result in a great project. Always be willing to learn new things, ask for feedback and listen to your colleagues if they want to help you improve your own ideas too.
Tip 4: Actively participate
The most straightforward thing to do when you want to support diversity and inclusion, is to actively participate in the initiatives of your company. As we already discussed in the articles with tips for employers regarding diversity and inclusion, a company can create a board. You as an employee can take part in those meetings and become an active member of your company’s diversity & inclusion board. If they don’t have one yet, why don’t you give them the idea yourself?
This can also include going to events or volunteering to be a buddy for new employees. If they send out a survey to spot diversity or inclusion problems, participate. If they are looking for employee referrals, why don’t you ask around your friends group too? All these small efforts can help you and your company reach a more diverse and inclusive place to work.
What do our Recruitment Consultants do to support Diversity and Inclusion within Generations Recruitment?
“At Generations Recruitment we make sure everyone is included in a formal and an informal way. Regarding informal inclusion, we make sure everyone gets the chance to talk about their culture and background if they want to. For example, during our weekly meeting, we discuss everyones weekend so everyone gets the chance to speak up or educate their colleagues on their culture.
Regarding formal inclusion, we regularly do brainstorm and information sessions on the future of the company. During these everyone gets the chance to share their opinion and be included in the thought process. We also have a weekly 1-on-1 meeting with our CEO to discuss our week and any concerns we may have.
Generations Recruitment also works with flexible hours, because we think personal life is equally important as professional life. Some of us have different personal commitments, so this measure respects and supports this. It enables our diverse workforce to have a good work-life balance too.”
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