Creating an inclusive workplace is an essential element for the promotion of employee well-being and the growth of a corporate culture that values diversity. A truly inclusive office is a place where every individual feels respected, accepted and supported regardless of their origin, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or socio-cultural background.

But what are the key elements that make a workplace truly inclusive? Let’s find them out together, starting from business leadership.

1. Inclusive company policies and practices

A crucial element for an inclusive workplace is the implementation of company policies and practices that promote inclusion and diversity. This comprehends the enforcement of anti-discrimination policies, awareness training programmes on gender and other types of diversities and the promotion of a corporate culture that celebrates differences.

Transformation can and should start with management training, which should set an example to others.

2. Physical accessibility

An inclusive office must be accessible to all, regardless of one’s physical abilities. This means ensuring barrier-free access to all office areas, including common areas, meeting rooms and toilets. The installation of wheelchair ramps, accessible lifts and easy signposting can help make the office more accessible to everyone.

3. Active listening and open communication

These habits are essential for creating an inclusive workplace, because they involve giving all employees a voice. In order for this to happen, it’s necessary to create safe spaces where employees can express their opinions without fear of judgement. Active listening enables a full understanding of colleagues’ needs and challenges, fostering a collaborative working environment.

One tool that can be used in this context is the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Survey, an anonymous questionnaire that includes questions ranging from demographics to people’s diversity.

4. Culture of appreciation and recognition

Recognising the achievements and efforts of employees, regardless of their position or background, creates a positive and motivating climate. This behaviour fosters a sense of belonging and values the different skills and contributions of team members.

It also acts as an excellent performance driver, because people will be more stimulated to improve in their daily activities.

5. “Enhanced” meetings

We’ve already talked about it several times (for example in this article): meetings aren’t experienced in the same way by everyone. Managers therefore must provide a safe and motivating space for everyone.

But how? For example, by ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to express themselves, by asking questions to those directly involved and by avoiding that the focus is only on the most confident people.

Empathy, open communication, mutual appreciation, collaboration and acceptance of diversity are some of the key elements that contribute to a truly inclusive workplace. One thing is certain: in order to achieve this goal, companies must start educating colleagues and improve their performance on a daily basis.

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