Most business owners and managers are well aware of the value of having a diverse workforce. Different views, different experiences and different ways of thinking among team members can help businesses to come up with new and innovative ideas.
However, having a diverse team of people working in your business doesn’t work very well if the firm doesn’t have an inclusive culture. We are totally committed to developing an inclusive workplace culture at Randall & Payne, where all our staff thrive at work regardless of their background, identity or circumstance. Our aim is for our staff to feel valued, accepted and supported to succeed at work. To make the most of your team you need to welcome them to the team and encourage them to get involved.
Put simply, diversity is the mix of people in your business. Inclusion is how you leverage and utilise that mix of people. An inclusive business gives everyone the opportunity to contribute.
While managers and business leaders have ultimate responsibility for setting the firm’s culture, employees can do their part in making it a more inclusive environment. For example, your team members could make an effort to interact with other employees outside of their own team. This could help them to gain new insights from other parts of the business and encourages them to become inter-connectors between different teams/departments. We use charitable and social events as an opportunity to encourage cross team interaction.
Another good way to encourage inclusion is to involve other people in your meetings – you could invite a guest from a different department to join your monthly team meetings. They could contribute their views and this would also give them the opportunity to get to know your team. A member of our tax team regularly attends accounts team meetings and this is starting to bring about a positive impact on perceptions and efficiencies. To change things up even more, you could rotate the person who leads the meeting each month. This means that at least one different person is speaking at each meeting.
The most inclusive businesses leave their assumptions at the door. It is easy to make assumptions about other colleagues. Making a conscious effort to leave your biases at the door will encourage others to do the same.
Inclusive businesses are about empowering others. Encourage your team members and colleagues to grow by letting them solve problems, come up with new ideas and develop new skills. Encourage them to be accountable. This shows your colleagues that you have confidence in them and in their ability to perform their job well.
Inclusion is all about employee experience. From an employee’s perspective inclusion is about feeling that you belong, have a voice and feel valued for the unique skills and abilities you bring to the workplace. Inclusive places of work create a healthy work environment for employees and this in turn delivers a number of positive outcomes such as reduced absenteeism and increased job satisfaction and performance.
At Randall & Payne we value difference. We allow all of our staff the opportunity to develop, participate and use their voice irrespective of their background and would encourage other firms to do so.