Beginner’s Guide to Inclusion in the Workplace

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, suggested, “Diversity—just diversity—doesn't work. You can hire the most multicultural, multigenerational workforce imaginable. But left alone, their differences are going to cause more problems than they solve.” Merriam-Webster defines “inclusion” as the state of being included. Inclusion, in human resources professionals’ minds, means being invited to the "right" meetings at work, feeling included with team activities, and having a development pathway and access to tools and opportunities. It's also making sure people are not being treated differently at work due to their appearance, beliefs or background.

If your organization is interested in creating a more inclusive workplace, consider these practical strategies:

  • Educate Your Leaders. The management team is instrumental to diversity and inclusion efforts. Kristina Dietrick, President of HR Partners, offers dynamic training options for clients in an interactive format.
  • Celebrate Employee Differences. Recognizing and sharing backgrounds and traditions in a respective forum is an excellent way to show employees that diversity is celebrated.
  • Listen to Employees. An open-door environment that encourages dialogue between employees and management builds an inclusive culture. Consider strategic decisions based upon the organization’s demographics and people to promote inclusiveness.
  • Hold More-Effective Meetings. Inclusiveness stems from being part of the team, which encompasses input and contributions during meetings. To encourage participation from everyone, consider the following tips:
    • Distribute meeting materials in advance and share questions to be discussed.
    • Reach out to teleworkers. Ensure technology is available to ensure participation.
    • Give credit where it’s due. Recognize individuals for contributing ideas, specifically pointing out who shared the idea originally.

For tips on how to create an inclusive workplace or embrace diversity, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860. In addition, we would be pleased to assist you with any other HR matters your business may need guidance with.

Source:

Gurchiek, Kathy. “6 Steps for Building an Inclusive Workplace.” SHRM, SHRM, 16 Aug. 2019, www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0418/pages/6-steps-for-building-an-inclusive-workplace.aspx.

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Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

Bruce Graham
Chief Executive Officer 
Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

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